Winter squash recipes from France include soups, souffles, flans and au gratins. Learn the basic techniques for cooking squash and you can come up with limitless ways to fix this nourishing and satisfying vegetable.
Wash. Carefully wash and dry the squash before slicing.
Slice. Use a very sharp and large chef's knife to cut through the squash. Cut off the ends so you can stand the squash on a cut end, then slice down through the cut end, so you end up with the squash cut in half.
Scrape. Scrape out the seeds and fiber with a sharp, sturdy spoon. Alternatively you can cut the squash into smaller pieces, then slice off the fiber and seeds.
Peel. Using a paring knife to peel a squash can be hard work. Many times it is easier to slice the squash into smaller pieces, then cut off the peel. Also, it can be unnecessary to peel the squash before fixing some winter squash recipes. The peel then comes off easily after cooking.
Baking - Slice your squash in two and scrape out the seeds and fiber. Place it cut side down on a baking sheet (lightly greased) and bake at 350°F (180°C) until a sharp knife easily pokes through the squash. This takes about 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size and type of the squash.
Roasted - Slice the squash into 1 inch or so pieces, then slice off the peel and the fiber and seeds. Toss the squash with a little olive oil and a couple pinches of salt and pepper (and anything else that suits your fancy - cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin, etc.). Roast in a hot (400°F - 200°C) oven for 30 minutes, stirring the squash a couple of times during the cooking time.
Steamed - Slice the squash in large even slices and scrape out the fiber and seeds. Place in a steamer basket over about an inch of water and place on medium heat with the lid on. Steam for about 20 minutes or until tender.
Microwaved - Halve the squash and scrape out the seeds. Place cut side down in a microwave safe dish. Add a small amount of water and cover. Microwave on high. Cooking time will vary depending on type and size of squash, so check frequently for doneness.
Sauteed - Slice the squash into 3/4 inch cubes. Sautee in olive oil and a little butter. You may need to add just a bit of water depending on squash type.