Mashed potato squash, with its mild and potato-like flavor, is a delightful dish that is not only easy to cook but also makes a perfect accompaniment. If you’ve come across bright white squash at your local market, there’s a good chance it’s a mashed potato squash. This newcomer to the squash world is gaining popularity due to its enticing name and promised resemblance to mashed potatoes.
Does Mashed Potato Squash Taste Like Mashed Potatoes?
The flavor of mashed potato squash is similar to a cross between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. However, the taste can vary depending on the squash. Some may have a naturally sweeter profile, resembling a sweet potato or honeynut squash. The texture is creamy and soft, although not identical to mashed potatoes, it comes quite close.
Selecting Mashed Potato Squash: What to Look For (and What to Avoid)
When choosing mashed potato squash, opt for those with firm and hard skin. These squash typically weigh between one and two pounds each, with the smaller ones having more tender flesh. Avoid squash with soft spots or insect holes. As a general rule, plan for about one pound of squash per person.
How to Cut Mashed Potato Squash
Due to their unique shape, cutting mashed potato squash can be a bit challenging. To begin, you’ll need a sturdy chef’s knife and a cutting board. Follow these steps:
- Cut off the stem end, leaving about a 1/4-inch above the stem. If the squash is missing the stem, simply cut off the end that once had it.
- Repeat the same process for the bud end, removing about 1/4-inch of the squash.
- Stand the squash upright on the cutting board and cut through it from top to bottom.
- Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds and pulp from the center of the squash.
How to Roast Mashed Potato Squash
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of mashed potato squash, making it the best method for cooking. Follow these simple steps:
- Brush oil on the cut side of the squash to prevent sticking.
- Season the squash with salt, pepper, or add some smoked paprika or garlic powder for extra flavor.
- Place the squash cut-side down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet to retain moisture.
- Bake until the squash is soft and tender, which usually takes around 45 minutes. Pierce it with a fork to check for doneness.
Can I Mash Mashed Potato Squash?
Absolutely! After roasting, scoop out the squash from its shell. Add milk, butter, and your desired seasonings. Mash the squash until it reaches a smooth consistency. You can use a potato masher or a handheld mixer for this process. Serve it just like you would a bowl of mashed potatoes, and enjoy the deliciousness of mashed potato squash.
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