Butternut squash is tasty and adaptable dish but, cooking this gorgeously curved vegetable may be frightening. The safest method for peeling and chopping butternut squash will be shared with you today.
How To Choose A Ripe Butternut Squash
When I go to the market to buy butternut squash, I always keep an eye out for the ripe ones. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to choose the perfect butternut squash:
- Look at the color: As I scan the butternut squash pile, I look for a solid beige color with a soft, matte finish. I avoid any squash that has shiny skin, cuts, brown patches, or green discoloration. The color might not change as drastically as a banana, but it’s still an important indicator of the squash’s ripeness.
- Test the shell: I like to give the outside shell of the butternut squash a gentle press to see if it’s hard and firm. If I feel any soft spots, I know it’s past its ripe days and won’t be as flavorful or have as good a texture.
- Make sure it’s heavy: When I pick up the squash, I always pay attention to its weight. A ripe squash should feel heavy for its size. If it’s feeling lighter than expected, it either isn’t ripe yet or is too old at that point.
A lighter squash might be okay if it’s smaller in size, but if I’m buying a larger squash, I make sure it’s heavy enough to ensure it’s ripe and ready to cook.
How To Peel Butternut Squash
When it comes to preparing butternut squash, the first step is often the most daunting – how to peel it. But don't worry, with the right technique and tools, it's easier than you might think. To start, I recommend cutting off about ¼ - ½ inch off each end with a sharp knife. This makes it easier to stand the squash upright and slice it in half. Next, you can choose to peel the squash whole or cut the bulb portion off and peel the bulb and neck separately.
I find the latter method easier to handle, but it's up to personal preference. Having a sharp Y peeler is crucial for easy peeling. The Y peeler provides a better grip and control than a swivel peeler, making the process smoother. Here's a pro tip: you can soften the skin of the squash by microwaving it whole for 30 seconds before peeling. This can make the skin slightly easier to remove. Now that you know how to properly peel your butternut squash, the possibilities for delicious meals are endless.
How To Cut Butternut Squash – in 5 Easy Steps
When it comes to butternut squash, I've learned that it's all about having the right tools and techniques. I've experimented with different methods over the years, and I've finally found a process that works best for me. First, I always make sure to have a sharp knife on hand. It's essential for slicing through the tough skin and flesh of the squash. I prefer using a chef's knife, but you can also use a santoku or any other sturdy knife that you feel comfortable with.
Next, I follow these steps to cut the squash:
- Cut off the ends. Before peeling the squash, I always trim off about ¼ - ½ inch from each end with my knife. This helps create a flat surface for stability and makes it easier to handle.
- Peel the skin. Once the ends are trimmed, I use a Y-peeler to remove the skin. The Y-peeler provides a better grip than a swivel peeler and helps prevent the peeler from slipping.
- Cut the bulb off. After peeling, I lay the squash on its side on top of the cutting board and cut the bulb off. This creates two pieces: the bulb and the neck.
- Slice the squash in half. I stand each piece upright on its flat end on the cutting board and slice them right down the middle.
- Scoop out the seeds. Using a spoon, I scoop out the seeds of the bulb end. You can discard the seeds or set them aside and roast them for a tasty snack.
- Cut the squash into strips. I take each quarter (flat side down) and slice into strips, keeping them between ½ to 1-inch thick.
- Dice the squash into cubes. I place a few strips on top of each other, slice them lengthwise, then dice them into cubes. The sizing of the cubed pieces is all up to personal preference.
With a little practice, cutting butternut squash becomes second nature. And don't be afraid to experiment with different sizes and shapes of cuts - it's all about finding what works best for you and your recipe.
HOW TO PEEL AND CUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH (EASILY)
- 1 butternut squash
- Lay the butternut squash on its side and cut both ends off. Cut about ¼-1/2 inch off the top and bottom of the squash.
- Cut the bulb end off the squash, which will leave you with 2 pieces.
- Using a Y peeler, peel off the skin.
- Turn each piece upright sitting on its flat side. Cut each piece lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a spoon. You can discard these or save them for roasting.
- Lay each piece on it's flat cut side and slice into strips of your desired thickness.
- Place a couple of strips on top of each other, then slice and dice into cubes.