How to peel and chop a winter squash

November 30, 2010

How to get your squash looking like this

As promised many weeks ago, here is a post all about peeling and chopping winter squash.

This is the Chef Heidi Way of doing it, but it’s pretty effective and also safe (how many of you have cut yourselves trying to this another way?).

Start with a cutting board, a relatively sharp and good-sized knife, a mallet (if you have one), and the squash of your choice. Pictured here: Buttercup sqash, one of the yummy ‘turban family’ squash I talked about in my last post.squash ready to cut 

Cut the sqash in half from stem to blossom-end, starting your cut just to the side of the stem. If you have a mallet, use it here to help push the knife through. Whack the mallet on the knife. If you have no mallet (I don’t) and the squash is resisting your cutting efforts, just lift the whole thing up by the knife handle (the knife blade should be wedged in there so tightly that the squash will come up too) and firmly pat it down on the cutting board. This will also give enough force to push the knife through.first cut 

There! Now you should have two halves.  Use a spoon to scrape out the squash seeds and membranes. You can save these for vegetable stock, actually. Very tasty.scooping out the seeds

At this point you can bake the squash, if that’s what you really want to do…ready to peel

Now cut the squash halves into wedges like so:cutting wedges of squash

cutting squash wedges

Now lay each wedge on its side, to make a stable surface, and use your knife to cut away the peel. See, isn’t that awesome?cutting the peel off squash

Repeat with remaining wedges.peeled sqash wedges

Now use your knife to cut the peeled wedges into pieces. cutting the squash wedges

Now you have perfect cubes of squash ready for roasting, putting in a soup or stew, or into a vegetable medley:beautiful pile of chopped squash

Never again will you just cut a squash in half and bake it. Right?

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