Don't look now, but you have bowling pins growing in your garden. No, wait, they're just butternut squash. OK, so you won't be able to play 10 pins with them, but these winter vegetables can make a healthy and delicious addition to your diet. Slicing them in half and roasting them brings out their natural sweetness without having to add sugar. But the thought of cutting into these hard vegetables might intimidate some people. With items you already have in your kitchen and the proper technique, you can safely prepare butternut squash and roast it in your oven.
Peel off strips of the butternut squash lengthwise with a vegetable peeler to create a flat base on which to set the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Set the butternut squash onto a cutting board with the peeled side down so the squash does not roll.
Place the knife or cleaver parallel to the length of the squash (at its center), and gently tap the knife or cleaver with the mallet to push it through the squash until the gourd splits in half.
Run a spoon or melon baller along the interior seed cavity to remove the seeds. Save the seeds for roasting later or discard.
Rub 1 tbsp. of olive oil or melted butter onto the exposed surface of each butternut squash half.
Arrange the butternut squash on a baking pan and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon for use in recipes.