Published November 1, 1994.
Other than conventional roasting, we discovered that the best method for cooking butternut squash is steaming.
There are many ways to cook winter squashes, but the ideal method for one kind may not necessarily be best for another. We quickly discovered this when we set out to find the best way to cook the two most common winter squashes, acorn and butternut. After only a few tests, we found that they responded very differently. We decided to concentrate on butternut.
One thing that all winter squashes have in common is that they must be cooked until well-done to develop their sweetest flavor and smoothest texture. With this as the only given, we tried cooking butternut squash by microwaving, baking, roasting, steaming, and boiling to find what produced the best texture and flavor.
Roasting chunks of peeled squash proved to be one of two most successful cooking methods. The squash became caramelized, with a good chewy texture and a much sweeter and more pronounced flavor. For the other method we liked--pureeing--we found that steaming the squash concentrated the flavor while boiling diluted it. Hand mashing produced the most interesting puree--one that made an attractive presentation when used as a vegetable and could also be used in place of pumpkin for pies, cakes, or breads.list of recipes