Joni Sare, cooking instructor

How to bake squash, speed cooking

So I bought several small kabocha squash at the farmers market, they were sooo cute and just big enough, well, small enough, for one serving. I baked’m whole and now enjoying one of them… yummmm.

Here’s how I baked them, fast and easy ….

Here is today's version of my baked squash ... simple, tasty, eye candy: spinach, squash, balsamic vinegar and toasted hazelnut oil. That's it, just 4 ingredients. Quick and healthy. See recipe at the end of this post.
I added the soup spoon for a size reference. These are small, similar to the 'carnival squash.' Bake'm whole, then remove the seeds and eat one-a-day in different ways, flavors.
First, set oven to 350 degrees. Wash the squash, and place in baking pan along with 1 cup of water. Bake for 40 minutes, or until soft, see "squash is done" image, below. NOTE: no need to peel b/c the skins of a Kabocha squash are edible, chewable, enjoyable.
Place the squash in oven, at 350 degrees, for 40 minutes (see next image for 'doneness'). I also bought and baked chicken (bottom rack on right) and 3 small spaghetti squash (top rack). I'll make a post about those foods another day.
The squash is done when you push a bit with your fingers and the squash feels soft and leaves a bit of an indentation where you pushed.
Cut the top of the squash while it is still warm, use a towel to hold squash in place and with other hand cut into the squash. Cut while warm for a smoother easier cut/slice (not so easy to cut through when the squash is chilled b/c it'll stiffen and be more rigid).
For speed cooking - continue to cut the tops of every squash, do the same action before going on to the next step, which is removing the seeds.
Remove the seeds with a fork, teasing the seeds away from the 'meat' and avoid disturbing the meat/flesh. Using a fork takes a bit more time than a spoon. A spoon will be faster, yet will get more of the meat, so, I like to use a fork.
Remove the seeds and stringy stuff (the placenta), have a bowl next to you for disposal. Or, place it in sauce pan, add 2-3 times volume of water, cover and simmer, cook for 30 minutes or so, strain and you have a good broth base. The seeds can be spread out on a baking pan and roasted, will post images another time.
Once the seeds are removed, put the 'lids' back on top, place the squash in a container with tight fitting lid, on a tray or plate, and cover with plastic wrap, or wrap each individually with plastic wrap. Freezing is fine.
Here is today's version of my baked squash ... simple, tasty, eye candy. Step one: put spinach in center and put the squash in toaster oven on broil for 10 minutes. Remove and douse with balsamic vinegar and toasted hazelnut oil and serve.

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