How to choose: Pick a squash that is rock solid and heavy for its size. Its skin should be matte. A shiny finish is a sign that the squash wasn’t ripe when it was picked. Look for an intact stem, which will help slow down the loss of moisture.
How to store: Protect butternut squash from light and heat by storing it in a cool, dry place (not in the refrigerator).
Shelf life: Stored properly, a whole squash will keep for a month, making it useful to have on hand for impromptu meals. A cut uncooked piece wrapped in plastic will last for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
Best uses: Roasting butternut squash at 400º F renders it sweet and tender. Cook it in the oven, halved, seeded, and cut-side down (to keep it from drying out). Scoop out the flesh and mash with a little butter, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Butternut squash can also be simmered or sautéed.
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