Winter squash is a popular addition to meals when the weather starts cools off. WIth all their bright oranges and yellows, they pack a huge nutritional punch and look gorgeous. What most people don’t look forward to is cutting these hard, odd-shaped, rolling veggies.
The best tool for the job is a sharp, large, relatively heavy chef’s knife- that’s sharp. Did we mention it should be sharp? When it comes to cutting up a large, hard winter squash a big, sharp blade will make it easier to slice through the flesh, while the heavier weight will give you more control.
Make sure your cutting board is big enough and stable. If it’s sliding or slippery, you can put a wet towel underneath. To start trim the ends off the squash, the root and stem, to create flat sides. This will help keep it still while cutting through the center flesh of the squash. Peeling can be made easier with a Y-peeler, but you can use the knife too. Scoop out the seeds, then cube or slice as your recipe calls for.
There are ways to to make this task a whole lot easier. Score the squash around the outside or puncture all over with a fork, then microwave it for around five minutes. This will help soften the flesh and make it easier to cut and peel. Let it cool before handling and cutting!
Or you could just cook it whole instead, either in the oven or the slow cooker. This method will take more time, but once it’s ready your knife will slide through the skin and flesh.