The squash banana squash is the offensive defender of the vegetable garden, a giant who often reaches 100 pounds and can easily grow more than 3 feet in length. Although its size makes it impractical for most home gardeners, it works well enough for cooking. The pumpkin is so large that retailers usually sell it in ready-to-prepare portions, already cut and without the seeds. This leaves you little to do except cook it and enjoy it.
Baked Squash Banana
Place your pumpkin portion on a chopping board and divide it in half, lengthwise, with a large knife.
Place the cut pumpkin turned over in a baking dish. Add 1 cup of water, to help conserve moisture. Place a lid on the container or cover it with tight aluminum foil.
Bake the pumpkin in a preheated oven at 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, until it can easily sink with a fork or bamboo skewer. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, this can take up to 45 minutes.
Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let it cool on a chopping board until you can handle it with gloves. Remove the pulp from the skin and macerate or puree and serve hot. Alternatively, cool the puree and place in freezer bags for later use.
Baked Banana Squash
Place the pumpkin portion on a clean chopping board. Using a chef's knife or other large sharp knife, cut transversely into semicircular rings about 1/2 inch thick.
Mix pumpkin slices with a little vegetable or cooking oil, and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Season it lightly with salt and pepper or other condiments you want to use.
Place a grid in the third space of your oven and then preheat it to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Slide the tray with the pumpkin into the rack, once the oven reaches full temperature.
Grill the slices for 25 to 30 minutes, until the surface begins to caramelize and the pulp can easily be pricked with a fork or bamboo skewer. Remove the slices from the oven and serve them hot to accompany your dishes.
A portion of banana squash is similar to a tree trunk as you remember it in the cartoons of your childhood. It is not necessary to cut it lengthwise, but it makes it easier to handle. Alternatively you could fill a section with meat and vegetables, then seal the edges with waxed paper and wrap it in aluminum foil. Roasted pumpkin slices can be glazed with brown sugar, maple syrup, marshmallows or other sweet toppings. Apply with a brush or spread the glaze in the middle of the pumpkin during the cooking process.For an alternative flavor, cover the pumpkin with fresh sage leaves.