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SQUASH, BASIC COOKING PREPARATION


Preparation

Baking

This popular cooking method brings out the sweet flavor of the squash by caramelizing some of the sugars. Cut squash lengthwise in half and remove the seeds and strings. Large squash can also be cut into serving-size pieces if preferred. Place squash, cut-side down in a baking pan lined with foil. Pour 1/4 inch of water in the pan, cover with foil, and bake at 350°F to 400°F. Bake halved squash for 40 to 45 minutes and cut pieces for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

Boiling
This technique is a faster method of cooking, but it dilutes the flavor slightly. Peel squash and cut it into pieces. Place pieces in a small amount of boiling water, and cook approximately 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

Microwaving
Prepare squash by cutting it in half lengthwise or in large chunks. Place squash cut-side down in a microwavable dish, cover, and cook until tender. Halved pieces usually cook in 7 to 10 minutes and large chunks in 8 minutes.

Sautèing
Using a nonstick pan, sautè grated, peeled, or diced squash in a broth. Sautèing gives the squash, especially if grated, a slightly crunchy texture. Cooking time usually lasts 8 to 10 minutes.

Steaming
Halve squash lengthwise and place cut-side down in a vegetable steamer. Cook over boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes or until the flesh becomes tender. Squash can also be peeled and cut into chunks or slices for steaming.


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