Banana squash is the offensive lineman of the vegetable garden, a behemoth that frequently tops 100 pounds and can easily grow to more than 3 feet long. Although its size makes it impractical for most home gardeners, it works in the favor of cooks. The squash is so large retailers usually sell it in oven-ready portions, already cut and with the seeds removed. This leaves little for you to do except bake the squash and enjoy it.
Baked Banana Squash
Place your section of banana squash on a cutting board and split it in half, lengthwise, with a large knife.
Place the squash cut-side down in a baking dish or shallow roasting pan. Pour in 1 cup of water, to help keep it moist. Place a lid on the dish, or cover it tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake the squash in a preheated oven at 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, until it can be easily pierced with a fork or a bamboo skewer. Depending on the size of the squash, this can take up to 45 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven, and let it cool on a cutting board until you can handle it with gloved hands. Scoop the flesh from the skin and mash or puree it, and serve it hot. Alternatively, cool the puree and measure it into freezer bags for later use.
Roasted Banana Squash
Place the banana squash section on a clean cutting board. Using a chef's knife or other large, sharp knife, cut it crosswise into semicircular rings approximately 1/2 inch thick.
Toss the squash slices in a little vegetable or cooking oil, then arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season them lightly with salt and pepper, or other seasonings you'd like to use.
Position a rack in the top third of your oven, then preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Slide the sheet pan of squash onto the rack, once the oven reaches its full temperature.
Roast the slices for 25 to 30 minutes, until the surface begins to caramelize and the flesh can easily be pierced with a fork or bamboo skewer. Remove the slices from your oven, and serve them hot as a side dish.
Things You'll Need
Large, sharp knife
Baking dish, roasting pan or sheet pan
Salt and pepper
Fork or bamboo skewer
A section of banana squash is rather like half a hollow log as you remember them from childhood cartoons. Cutting it lengthwise isn't necessary, but does make it easier to manage. Alternatively you could stuff a section with meat and vegetables, then seal the ends with parchment paper and wrap the whole bundle in foil. Roasted slices of squash can be glazed with brown sugar, maple syrup, marshmallows or other sweet coatings. Brush or sprinkle the glaze onto the squash midway through the cooking process. For a savory alternative, cover the squash with fresh sage leaves.