Tip: Steam Hard Winter Squash

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Hard winter squashes usually take their time roasting under a blanket of butter in the oven. Here’s a new (to us, anyway) way of cooking these stand-bys of the fall and winter Greenmarket: steam heat.

Try steaming slices of winter squash — like the orange kabocha, a Japanese pumpkin — for ten to twenty minutes, depending on the density and water content of the squash. Drizzle a zingy, warm dressing on top of the steamed squash (we used olive oil, good soy sauce, lime and a dash of hot sauce) and you’ve got a fresh fall side.

Peel or no peel? We tested it both ways with an organic kabocha and were suprised to find we liked it better with the peel on. The peel helped the sqaush to keep its shape when we transfered it from the steamy pot to the platter and the peel adds a bright fun color. Guests could trim it off at the table if they don’t want to eat the skin.

Keep an eye on the water level in your pot as you steam. If the pot boils dry, the mess left behind can be difficult to scrub from the bottom of the pot.