I went into the way-back machine to grab this oldie-but-goody post from 2011. I am still a huge fan of buttercup squash. Give this delightful squash a try ASAP!
I like to call of myself an adventurous eater but, I am embarrassed to say, I have not ventured very far into the colorful world of squash. Throughout the upcoming chilly months, I have assigned myself a fun little challenge – try all of those bumpy, warty, unusual looking squash that I have shied away from in the past. I already know I enjoy pumpkin, butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash. Now thanks to my challenge I have a new favorite, buttercup squash.
You can identify a buttercup squash by its dark green skin, squatty-squarish shape, and the funny, inset, domed belly-button on the base. According to Wikipedia, “buttercup squash can be roasted, baked, and mashed into soups, among a variety of filler uses, much like pumpkin. It is extremely popular, especially as a soup, in Brazil and Africa.”
I picked up this little warty gem at a great farmer’s market in Richland, Washington. The seller had a whole variety of squash – I wanted to try them all! – but, managed to narrow it down to one. The reason I went for the buttercup squash was simple, there were a group of us standing there wondering what to do with this fantastic looking produce and the seller pointed to the buttercup and told us it was her favorite. She gave a brief description of how she cooks them then, all four of us, reached in and grabbed her remaining squash!
Review: Buttercup squash is AMAZING!!!! Buttery with a mild nutty flavor. It couldn’t be easier to prepare. Even the skeptics at the table agreed this was a great side dish. The meat is starchy and filling like whipped potatoes without needing any cream or extra butter. Buttercup’s smooth texture and pleasant flavor would make it a great option for both savory and sweet applications. I could see using buttercup squash in place of pumpkin to make a pie but, just as easily, topping with some sour cream and onions like a baked potato. In short, TRY THIS SQUASH!
A simple way to cook buttercup squash:
At the farmers market, the woman I spoke with said she likes to top her buttercup squash with butter and brown sugar before she bakes it. I was looking for a more savory flavor, so, I prepared mine with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Our squash was approximately 3 pounds, more than enough to fed four people. I have been thinking longingly about this squash for the last couple of days. It will certainly be on my dinner table again very soon.
- Rinse & dry the outside, stab it with a fork a few times, then pop the whole squash into the microwave for 5 minutes- This softens the skin and makes it easier to cut.
- Cut it in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.
- Place both halves in a baking dish with about 3/4 of an inch of water in the bottom. Drizzle squash with some olive oil, about a tablespoon for each half and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake at 375 until the meat is soft enough to cut with a butter knife – around 45 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size.
Once the squash was cooked through I let it cool just a few minutes before scooping all the meat from the rind into a serving bowl. It was so creamy all it needed was a brief stir to smooth out the texture before it was ready to eat.
Now it’s your turn! Give buttercup squash a try and, when you do, let me know what you think!
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