To prepare the crown prince, knock off the stem and push a sharp knife into the centre. Work it around and split the squash in half. Never try to roast a squash whole – it may explode! Scoop out the seeds. Brush it with plenty of oil, add a good scrunch of seasoning, then roast in the oven at 200°C/Gas 6 until tender. Scoop out the soft flesh and use it in a soup or risotto. If the recipe you are using calls for chunks, you’ll have to peel the crown prince before roasting it. The skin is too hard for a peeler, so use a knife by placing each half of the squash face-down on a board and working around it with a knife, cutting the skin off.
Squash like to be kept dry and warm, at room temperature. A kitchen shelf or windowsill is ideal; the hard-skinned crown prince can live there happily as a rustic autumn display for up to 12 months before cooking. Once cut, keep the remainder in the fridge and use within a week.