Description: Not phallus-shaped like it’s more familiar cousin, the butternut squash, the squat buttercup resembles an upside-down acorn with an undersized cap.
Flavor Profile: The flavor of the flesh is sweet and nutty, with a creamy consistency more like that of a baked sweet potato than a pumpkin.
Selecting a Good One: Choose one that feels heavy for its size and has a rind that is deeply colored.
Prep: Peeling the squash is challenging but, fortunately, it’s not necessary to do. A buttercup squash can be prepped for cooking by washing and then patting it dry, splitting it in half lengthwise through the stem, and using a large spoon to scrape the seeds and stringy pulp from the seed cavity.
How to Use: Either steaming or baking will bring out the sweetness of and add moistness to the flesh. A simple recipe is to pour 4 ounces of water into a baking dish with sides. Lay the squash halves (see prep above) cut side down in the dish. Bake at 375° F for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and top the halves with butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cinnamon. Reduce oven temp to 325° F and bake for another 10 minutes.