Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kabocha Squash Discovery

Our CSA box included a kabocha (ka-BOO-tchah) squash. It's also known as a Japanese pumpkin. Although the outside is mostly green, the flesh inside is orange like a butternut squash. It was a new one for me but it's quite tasty. Having grown and eaten a lot of butternut squash, I can say that this squash has a great flavor. It's less sweet and more nutty. It interacts well with spice making it a great warming dish in the winter. It can be a small enough squash to use as a serving bowl where you scrape the fleshy sides to mix with your vegetable filling.

This is what I did with the squash in the CSA box.

This recipe is pretty flexible. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Tailor it to the number of servings you wish to have. The more squash you are preparing, the longer the cook time. The sauce and the spices make the recipe!

  • 1 small kabocha squash per person
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 onion (per squash)
  • Sliced or chopped seasonal vegetables. A mix of root (carrots, parsnips, potatoes) and greens (brussel sprouts, bell pepper, green beans) is good.
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (per squash)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin (per squash)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (per squash)

Sauce (per squash):
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2. Tbsp. sherry
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Rinse squash and pat dry. Cut around the stem to make lid. Make the lid wider than one does for a jack-o-lantern for the front porch.
  3. Remove seeds and stringy flesh (use a tablespoon and put some time into this step).
  4. Massage inside of each squash with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Put lid back on squash and cook in a baking dish for 10 minutes.
  7. Make the sauce recipe above.
  8. Chop the vegetables that will be in the stuffing.
  9. Put sliced onions in a bowl and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil (per squash). Add salt and pepper and mix together.
  10. Melt butter in a skillet and add garlic.
  11. Add cumin and cayenne.
  12. Add vegetables and saute until slightly done (time will depend on the vegetable).
  13. Stir in the sauce and bring the mixture back to hot.
  14. Pour the mixture back into the squash, add the lid, and return to the oven.
  15. Bake for 40 minutes (longer time as more squash are included).
  16. Transfer cooked squash to serving plates. Cut it down about 1/3 of the way into quarters (or more) for a flower-like presentation.