My Recipe Box

How to handle a big squash

by Dabney Gough

fromFine Cooking
Issue 95

So, you’ve decided to make the Roasted Hubbard Squash Soup with Hazelnuts & Chives, and you’re wondering, “How exactly do I crack into this enormous squash?” Here’s how, according to contributor Ivy Manning.

Prick the squash several times with a fork and microwave for 3 minutes; it will soften slightly, making it easier to cut open. Or bake the whole squash directly on the rack in a 350ºF oven until slightly softened and the skin begins to change color, about 10 minutes.

1. Set the squash on a towel on a cutting board to prevent it from slipping, and push the tip of a sharp chef’s knife into the squash near the stem. Carefully push the knife through the squash to the cutting board to cut off the stem. 2. Then cut lengthwise through half of the squash, starting with the tip of your knife in the center of the squash. If the knife sticks, don’t try to pull it out; this is dangerous, since it may come out suddenly. Instead, tap the handle with a rubber mallet or meat tenderizer until the knife cuts through the squash. 3. Rotate the squash and cut through the other side the same way. 4. Push the halves apart with your hands. With a soup spoon, scrape the seeds and stringy bits away from the flesh and discard.

Photos: Scott Phillips

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