Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Cutting Through Squash

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Fall is squash season. Butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash are just a few of the wonderful vegetables from the gourd family. Once roasted, or baked, the flesh becomes tender and delicious. Before cooking, they can be hard as a rock and nearly impossible to cut through. Rather than risk losing a limb while hacking at a roley poley squash with a large, sharp knife, we suggest softening it in the microwave first.

Rinse the outside of the squash to get the dirt off before cutting into it. Pierce the skin of the squash in multiple places with a fork or the tip of a knife.  Microwave it for a couple of minutes, until it is just soft enough to cut through. Don’t leave it in long enough to start cooking; just cook it for enough time to make the flesh a bit more pliable. Although time varies based on the size of the squash and the strength of the microwave, 3-4 minutes is a good estimate. This can also be done in the oven, and will take about 15 minutes to soften. Place it on a baking pan so the juices that release won’t mess up the oven.

Remove it from the microwave, and carefully slice it in half. It will be hot! Scoop out the seeds from the cavity of the squash and discard. Peel or cook according to your recipe and enjoy!

Bonus tip: Try this before carving your Halloween pumpkin. It will make the job much easier and more precise!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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