Butternut Winter Squash from the Garden to the Table
Butternut Squash is our favorite winter squash. It is easy to grow in the home garden and can even be grown in containers.
We enjoy it baked and in recipes from sweets to soup. In fact, it can be used in just about any recipe that calls for pumpkin. Like other members of the cucurbit family with orange flesh, it is high in vitamin A and C so it definitely deserves a place in your garden and on your table.
Photo by Y.L. Bordelon
Butternut squash is easy to grow in the home vegetable garden. It comes in both vine and bush varieties, so choose the one that will fit into your garden. All you need is a good sunny spot, some composted manure and good garden soil. If you don't have a piece of ground, then try them in a large pot or container about the size of half of a whiskey barrel.
In the garden you should plant your butternut squash in hills. First dig about a foot down and put the well rotten manure. Mix it up a little and cover with the garden soil. We usually plant our seeds in a circle, with one in the middle. Mom used to tell me to plant 3 for each one you want to grow. She'd say, "plant one for the birds, one for the worms and one for me." Since you need 3 plants per hill, we usually plant 9 seeds in each hill.
Once the seeds are up you can either transplant the extra plants to other hills or just pull them up to thin them to 3 plants per hill. When the vines begin to creep, side dress with fertilizer or composted manure.
The female flowers are the ones that make the butternut squash. The male squash flowers are edible and can be stuffed and/or fried. Just leave a few on the plants to fertilize the female flowers so that the squash will form. When the squashes are large and the skin turns tan, they are ready to harvest. According to the seed package, butternut squash is ready to harvest 80-95 days from planting.
Butternut Squash Seeds
Winter Squash Poll
Which type of winter squash do you like best?
Butternut squash fresh from the garden
Baked Winter Squash
Choose heavy butternut squash with a thick skin. You will need about 3 pounds of squash for 4 servings.
Split the squash in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds and fibers. If they are large, cut them into serving pieces.
Place the squash in an ungreased baking dish (12 1/2X9X2) inches. Season cut sides with salt and pepper; dot with butter or margarine. Pour water into the dish to 1/4 inch depth; cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
We like to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over them and add a little extra butter. Serve them in the shells or scape the meat out and serve in a dish.
How to cook butternut squash: 4 ways!
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown of the Food Network
6 cups (about 2 large squash) seeded 2-inch wide chunks butternut squash
Melted butter, for brushing
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
4 ounces heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. On a sheet pan lay the squash flesh side up. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is nice and soft.
Scoop the flesh from the skin into a pot and add the stock, honey, and ginger. Bring to a simmer and puree using a stick blender. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Below is a video showing you exactly how to make this dish.
Butternut Squash Soup
Pumpkin, Butternut and Squash Recipe Book
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© 2010 Yvonne L B