Butternut squash stars in many fall and winter dishes, but it can be a slippery diva behind the scenes. I say, divide and conquer. Use the straight, seed-free neck in dishes that call for peeled squash. Scoop the seeds from the curved bottom and cook with the skin on, then serve as is or scoop out the now-tender flesh.
- Always clean produce before you cut it, including winter squash. Spritz with produce spray or wash with soap, scrub, and rinse.
- Put a damp towel on a cutting board to keep the squash steady, then put the squash on the towel. Cut through the squash where the bulb narrows down into the neck and where it curves at the top.
- Put the squash neck cut-side down on the cutting board and slice off strips of peel from top to bottom, using a heavy sharp knife. Slice or cube, as the recipe calls for.
- Cut the bottom bulb in half and scoop out seeds.