Eat Your Vegetales: Savory squash dish is super easy _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Parmesan Butternut Squash Gratin

Instead of always having butternut squash with sugar and cinnamon, try this savory baked recipe with garlic-butter and bread crumbs.

This is delicious hot from the oven, with its simple fresh parsley and Parmesan topping, making this butternut squash gratin easy to make.

The worst part is peeling the squash. I cut off both ends and then use a vegetable peeler. It may take two or three swipes to get to the gold-colored flesh. If it’s easier to handle, cut the squash in half crosswise.

Many cooks microwave the squash to soften the skin before cutting. Microwave the whole vegetable, piercing the skin all over with the point of a knife. Microwave about 4 minutes, then cut it crosswise into thirds, and again in half horizontally. Remove the seeds and strings then the outside peeling.

The outer skin, seeds and strings from the bulbous part have to be removed before slicing it for the baking dish.

If you microwave it before peeling it, you can probably shorten the baking time, but that depends on the size of the squash and how tender you like it.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@the advocate.com.