step 1: cut squash in half from top to bottom
this is what it looks like on the inside. please forgive the switch in knives. my instinct is to always use my santoku, but for tough jobs like this a bigger knife is really necessary.
and please ignore the dirt and grass in the corners on the photo. the only place in my house that has natural lighting is, well, outside. so just forget you ever saw it. thank you kindly. 😉
step 2: grab a spoon and scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff. it’s just like scooping out a pumpkin, only the meat here is a bit more tender, and there’s a lot less of an area to work with.
when you’re done, it should look like this.
step 3: place it face down in a glass pan, with some water at the bottom to give it moisture. my squash this time happened to be a small one (organic!), so it fit inside an 8×8 pan. but the bigger ones i normally see in the stores might require a 9×13 pan. and if that is still not big enough, use a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) so you can still put water in the bottom.
step 4: now bake it in a preheated 425° oven for 45 minutes. when it’s done it should look like this. don’t worry that it looks burnt; you’re not going to eat the skin anyways.
when you flip it over, the insides look soft and mushy–which makes my insides groan in anticipation. you might want to poke it a few times with a fork to make sure it’s nice and mushy, in case your oven might have acted up like mine does sometimes. (did you know they make ovens without light bulbs in them??? my oven is one of these, so sometimes i have to use a flashlight. welcome to the ghetto.)
now let it cool for about 10 minutes, or until you can handle it without burning your precious fingers.
step 5: grab a spoon and start scooping! when you’re done all that should be remaining is the thin hollow shell of a skin.
use this in recipes, or eat as a side dish by adding butter* and salt, or butter, a tiny bit of brown sugar or honey, and nutmeg.
*i used to be all about using butter instead of margarine because butter is more natural/less processed than margarine. (you will never find a stick of margarine in my frig.) but now i’m all about earth balance. you can find this at henry’s or trader joes (or the like: probably whole foods too, but i never go there). it’s 100% vegan and 100% natural, rich in Omega 3’s, and free of GMOs, trans fat, hydrogenated oil, and artificial ingredients. and it tastes oh so good. mmmm-mm-mm.