The turban squash is a vibrant, oddly-shaped gourd with mildly sweet flesh. Thanks to its striking appearance, it's often used as an ornamental gourd, although it is perfectly edible. You can cook turban squash in the oven or on the stove top, depending on your preference. Turban squash tends to be on the larger side, so cooking it in the microwave generally isn't advisable. Like all winter squashes, it has a hard, tough skin, and only the flesh is eaten.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the squash, making sure to scrub off any dirt or debris that may be stuck.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers with a spoon and discard. You can keep the squash in halves, or cut it into quarters or thick slices.
Arrange the squash on a rimmed baking sheet or in an oven-safe dish, cut-side up. If you're baking halves, add 1/4-inch water to the pan. Brush the squash with olive oil or melted butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also season the pieces with dried spices like nutmeg, ginger or cayenne, if you wish.
Bake the squash until it can be easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the size of squash pieces. Serve the squash with the skin on, or scoop the flesh out and discard the skins.
Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, then cut into 1-inch cubes.
Toss the cubes into a pot filled an inch of with boiling water. Alternately, you can place the cubed squash in a steamer basket inserted into a pot filled with 1/2 inch of water, and bring the water to a boil.
Cook the squash until it is fork-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. If you wish, mash the cooked squashed with butter, salt and pepper, and dried spices.
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Irena Eaves began writing professionally in 2005. She has been published on several websites including RedPlum, CollegeDegreeReport.com and AutoInsuranceTips.com. Eaves holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University.