Tips for Cooking Squash

Have you seen those large yellow squash in the market? They look like a cross between a yellow zucchini and a watermelon, and are called “spaghetti squash.” They are called that because when they are cooked, their flesh separates into long strands that look like bright yellow spaghetti. They taste similar to other summer squash, and being bright yellow, are probably loaded with beta-carotene.

Here are a few ideas:

Cut the squash in half (lengthwise will probably give you longer strands, but it doesn’t really matter) and scoop out the seeds. To cook, you can:

1: Pierce the skins multiple times with a fork, and place them cut-side down in a glass or ceramic dish with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water. Microwave on high until soft to the touch. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour or more, depending on the power of your microwave and the size of the squash.

2: Place in a baking pan with a little water and bake at about 350 degrees for around an hour (again until soft, depending on the size of the squash). Start with them cut-side down, but you might be able to turn them halfway through.

3: Place cut-side down on grill, and cook, (covered) for about an hour. You will probably want to brush the squash and or the grill with a little olive oil first, and I would recommend an indirect heat method.

Once they are cooked, you take a fork and rake the flesh out of the skins. This raking should break the flesh into lots of long strands. I like the strands with a little butter and maybe salt and pepper as a side dish, but if you want you can toss them in a skillet with a little minced garlic cooked in a good extra virgin olive oil. Heck, you can even add a few garden veggies and a light tomato sauce (say a pomodoro sauce) have a light (vegetarian) summer meal.

Bon Appetit!

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