Winter Squash in the Microwave

Microwave Winter Squash

Winter Squash in the Microwave
From the Honeymoon Kitchen

Deep into another Chicago winter, the veggie that seems to make the most appearances on our table is the humble winter squash.  From soups to casseroles, faux pasta dishes to real risottos, we rely on hearty winter squash to get us through until the first hint of asparagus season in March.  There’s just one little problem with winter squash…TIME.  It takes almost an hour to roast a squash whole.  Peeling and dicing first will shave a little time off the roasting, but if you’ve ever peeled and cubed a butternut squash you know it’s a royal pain in the you know what.  So what’s a hungry girl to do?  Microwave, of course!  I know the virtues and horrors of microwaves are hotly debated, but for now, we still trust ours to get us hot food fast, especially in a pinch.  And while some veggies seem lose every ounce of flavor, texture and will to live when microwaved (here’s looking at you, green beans), squash is supposed to be mushy, thus the result is pretty much exactly what you were looking for.  So should you be in the mood for some Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole, Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Creamy Thai Spaghetti Squash, Chipotle Pumpkin Soup or any of the other myriad of squash recipes on this site, you are now about 40 minutes closer to enjoying it!

Ingredients

  • 1 winter squash (butternut, spaghetti, pumpkin, acorn, etc)

Preparation

  1. Slice the stem off the squash, taking care not to cut off any more flesh than necessary.
  2. Slice the squash in half, top to bottom, so you have two identical halves.
  3. Scrape out all seeds and stringy stuff.
  4. Place one half, skin side down, in a microwave-safe dish that is small enough to hold it snugly so it stays still.  Fill the well where the seeds were with 1/3 cup of water.  Place the other half on top, flesh down, so that you have essentially reconstructed the squash and it’s laying on its side.
  5. Microwave for 7-20 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.  It’s ready when the skin feels quite soft and easily gives when you push on it.
  6. Allow to cool enough to handle, then use a spoon or fork to scrape out the flesh.  Use in any recipe calling for canned or cooked squash!
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