Historically, winter squashes were preserved and consumed primarily by cultures in dire straits. I'm saddened when I see winter squashes left to rot in fields and angered by pumpkins wasted during Halloween (I love Halloween but advocate using at least some of the seeds and pumpkin flesh before they become Jack-O-Lanterns)
Cooking and preserving winter squash is not complicated, in fact, the cooking part can be done while you watch television or deal with your laundry: Squash goes into oven and oven cooks squash.
When it comes to seasoning your squash, like talking after sex, I truly believe less is more. Like all vegetables in season, all the flavours you need are bursting through. Maybe a little salt and pepper, yes some butter will add flavour, but I implore you to not mask the natural flavour of the squash.
Cooking directions are given under each photo below.
|Fig.1. Squashes from Birri|
|Fig.2. Butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and others I do not know the name of. All edible and delicious.|
|Fig.3. Seeds are not garbage! My trusty sidekick, Marcella DeVincenzo from Cucina Chronicles, saw to it that no seeds were harmed in the making of this post. Wash the seeds thoroughly under cold water (don't worry if some seeds still have squash-flesh still attached, the flesh will be cooked off.) Lay the seeds to dry on a newspaper or a kitchen towel.|
|Fig.4. While the seeds are still a bit wet, sprinkle them with any seasoning you desire. Hungry Ella opted for Berber seasoning. Roasting these small seeds makes them completely edible. I eat the whole seed, shells and all. Makes for great roughage.|
|Fig.5. Cut the squash in half and roast in a 400 degree oven. (close the oven door)|
|Fig.6. The squash is ready when you can insert a knife into the flesh without resistance. I like a little caramelising on the surface of my squash, that's where the sweet flavour resides.|
|Fig.7. Once the squash has cooled down considerably, scoop out the flesh into a big bowl with a spoon.|
|Fig.8. Fill some freezer bags with the squash and place in the freezer. Winter is coming. Isn't nesting fun?|