With its smooth texture 
and a taste reminiscent of a buttered 
sweet potato, butternut squash is the go-to gourd 
for fall recipes.

How to Pick the Best Butternut Squash and Prep for Cooking

“The best butternut squash have skin that is taut and evenly colored, with 
no blemishes or soft spots,” says Sarah Woutat of Uproot Farm in Princeton, Minn. If you’re at a farmers’ market, ask the grower if the squash was cured — a post-harvest, 10-day process maintaining good air circulation and a temperature between 80°F and 85°F, which produces sweeter-tasting flesh and longer storage potential. “If stored in 
a dry, cool, well-ventilated place, a cured butternut can last up to four months,” Woutat says. Wrapped tightly in plastic, cut squash can keep in the fridge for up to a week.