We’re well into autumn which means the availability of produce is changing. (Those of you in South Florida, Southern California and similar areas can hush, the rest of us have these magical things known as seasons that can affect our shopping habits). Butternut squash is one of my favorites fall vegetables, but preparing it for use in a recipe can be a little intimidating. Once the squash has been peeled and diced, it can be used interchangeably with diced sweet potato, rutabaga, turnips, or even carrots in many recipes. If you are using the squash instead of carrots in a recipe, use a much smaller dice than the one pictured in this tutorial.
*Warning* Butternut squash has a very smooth skin, make sure your knives are sharp and that you use care slicing. I took these pictures myself, when you copy the method, use both hands at all times. (I need an assistant)
Gather your tools, wash the squash and remove any stickers. This can be done with only a chef’s knife, but a utility knife is a little easier to use when removing the skin.
Grip the squash firmly and cut with a chef’s knife where the neck meets the base. This will give you two manageable pieces.
Use your chef knife to remove the stem end of the neck. Grip the squash firmly as it is slippery and may roll.
Set the neck upright so it is resting on one of the cut ends. If you have a utility knife, switch to it and peel the squash in thin layers. If you have a sturdy vegetable peeler, it can be used for this step.
Slice the neck of the squash into rounds. The thickness of your slices will depend on how large you would like the dice.
Grip the bulb end firmly and slice off the bottom with your chef knife.
Remove the peel, just like with the neck of the squash.
Slice the bulb end in half.
Scoop out (and save the seeds, they can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds).
Your butternut squash is now diced and ready for use in recipes.