Cooking is a lot of work, wouldn’t you say? That’s why I like to let my dining companions share in the effort every chance I get. Also, interactive food is fun! Everyone enjoys rolling their own sushi. From now on, I’m always going to let dining companions shell their own favas. And serving roasted wedges of unpeeled winter squash lets each eater participate in a simple task that makes the cooking much easier for you. (I’m sure they’ll thank you for the opportunity.)
Roasting unpeeled winter squash also makes for a striking presentation. That’s a pie pumpkin above and a hefty acorn squash pictured above, but you can use this technique with any squash that you can manage to hack apart. I especially appreciate this approach when I’m dealing with a ribbed or bumpy squash that would be a serious hassle to peel uncooked. (Alternatively, just stick to squash with edible peels and you avoid the trouble altogether.)Roasted Winter Squash Wedges: Halve each squash (watch your fingers!) and scoop out the seeds. Slice each half into wedges that are 1 1/2″ to 2″ wide at the widest part (watch your fingers!). Rub with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Arrange on a baking tray so every piece is touching the pan and bake at 400 until the first side is golden (start checking after 15 minutes). Turn the squash to the second side and repeat. Bake until both sides are golden brown and the squash is tender when pierced with a knife.
Note: You can flavor the squash (think maple syrup, chili powder, Indian or North African spices, miso-curry paste) before baking—the acorn squash above was roasted with just oil and salt; the pumpkin used both of those plus maple syrup and ancho chili powder.