I love the root veggies in fall and winter, and one of my favourite quick dishes is steamed squash with a bit of margarine or olive oil and pepper. Imagine my joy when I discovered the tastiest way to steam squash is also the easiest- use the squash itself to seal in the steam and cook in minutes!
Step One: Cut the squash in half (this might be the hardest part of the whole process actually). Remove the seeds.
Step Two: Add some water to a shallow pan and place the squash in the pan, cut side down. You don’t need a lot of water, but make sure there is enough that it won’t all boil away in the oven (maybe 1/2 inch?). Also, make sure that there is water under the squash as well as around it. (It helps to put the water in the pan before the squash). You have now created a sealed little squash “oven”.
Step Three: Put the squash into a hot oven (375-425F degrees) and let it steam right in its own skin. The skin will brown and the inside will come out moist and ready to scoop right out and eat. Depending on the size of the squash, it will take anywhere from 12 minutes to about 25 minutes.
Step Four: For small squash, serve right in the skin with your favourite toppings. For a bigger squash, scoop it out or slice and serve. As I mentioned earlier, we are savoury people in our house, so a little oil and pepper makes us drool. I’ve heard of other cultures (including many Americans) adding sweet things to squash, including nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, and even marshmallows! To each their own.
This works for any kind of squash. If you make a spaghetti squash this way, you can scoop out the cooked insides and serve it in less time than it would take to make regular pasta. How do you like to cook your squash?