Buttercup squash resembles a squat green pumpkin, but its flavour is more reminiscent of the sweet and nutty flavour of butternut squash. Buttercup squash has a thinner rind than most winter squashes, but it is bumpy and difficult to peel with a vegetable peeler. Baking the squash softens it for easy peel removal. Buttercup squash is typically served mashed or puréed, so precooking also softens it sufficiently for serving after the peel is removed.
Preheat the oven to 177 degrees Celsius. Set the buttercup squash on a cutting board with the stem on top. Cut the squash in half with a sharp chef's knife.
Scoop out the seeds and pulp from each squash half with a spoon. Discard the seeds and pulp.
Lay the squash halves on a baking tray, cut side down. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove the squash from the oven. Allow it to cool at room temperature until it's cool enough to handle but still warm.
Turn the squash halves over. Scoop the softened flesh out of the peel with a large spoon. Discard the peel and mash the squash before adding it to your recipe.
Hit the back of the chef's knife with a rubber mallet to split the squash if it's too tough to cut through easily.