Butternut Squash is large, cylindrical and has a pale yellow buff coloured skin. Its rind is very thin, making it easy to peel with a vegetable peeler (easier to peel, say, than an acorn squash, which has a very tough rind.) This easy-peeling makes butternut squash an ideal candidate for steaming or boiling then mashing. The firm flesh is deep orange, sweet and slightly nutty tasting.
Butternut has a very small seed cavity inside, so it’s not the best one for stuffing. You can only get in just enough stuffing to set off accusatory looks as it is rationed out at the table.
It is a winter squash.
A straighter version has been developed, known as Waltham Butternut Squash.
To bake, halve and seed it (do not peel). Place cut side up on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Then either sprinkle with brown sugar, or with crushed pineapple and a sprinkling of orange juice. Cover with tin foil, bake at 175 C (350 F) for 45 minutes or until tender.
Good for home-pressure canning as it is easy to peel, and has a relatively small cavity therefore yielding a higher amount of flesh for its size for your work.
700 g (1 ½ pound) butternut squash, uncooked = 4 cups cubed in 1 cm (½ inch) cubes
Will keep, unpeeled, for several months in a cool place.
Literature & Lore
With its skin the colour of butter (real butter, without the dairy colourings added), and its flesh tasting slightly nutty, it’s easy to see where its name of “butternut” came from.