Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that is commonly grown in the home garden. It can be prepared quickly by boiling or steaming in a saucepan and stores for several weeks in the refrigerator after cooking. Choose butternut squash from your own harvest or from the supermarket that has hard, tough skin. Soft or thin skin is an indication of immaturity and the squash may not be as flavorful as fully mature fruit. Butternut squash is available for purchase all year, but the best stores are found in fall, shortly after harvesting.
Peel the butternut squash using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, and then place the squash onto a large cutting board. Cut the squash in half using a heavy butcher's knife and scoop out the seeds and strings from the inside using a spoon.
Fill a large saucepan with about 1 inch of water and add the salt. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. While the water is heating, cut the butternut squash halves into small 2-inch cubes to reduce cooking time.
Add the butternut squash cubes to the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and boil the squash until tender when pierced with a fork, usually about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the butternut squash pieces from the hot water. Transfer the squash to a serving dish and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh butter and your favorite herbs and spices if desired.
Store any leftover butternut squash in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks before discarding any unused portion. Although it can be stored, butternut squash is best consumed shortly after cooking.