Buttercup squash is a winter squash belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae. Not to be confused with its cousin the butternut squash, the squat green buttercup takes its name from its shape, which some say resembles an upside-down acorn with an undersized cap.
The average buttercup squash is about 7 inches (17.5 centimeters) in diameter and weighs approximately 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), though some individual specimens may grow to be over 5 pounds (2.7 kilograms).
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Steaming and baking are recommended because it brings out the sweetness and adds moisture to the flesh.
Peeling the buttercup squash is difficult but, happily, avoidable. To cook without peeling, simply wash the squash well, rinse, and dry. Split the squash in half lengthwise, through the stem. Using a large spoon, scrape out the seeds and the stringy pulp from the seed cavity. Pour about ½ cup (120 ml) of water into a baking dish with sides. Lay squash halves, cut-side down, in the dish. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes or until tender.
To use the flesh in soups, muffins, pies, or to serve as a puree on its own, simply scoop out of the rind using a spoon.
Conserving and Storing
Buttercup squash can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months.
Once cut, the buttercup squash may be stored in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for three or four days.
Cooked squash can be frozen for up to three months in a tightly sealed container.