The Kabocha Squash is a Japanese pumpkin. They can be green-skinned or bright orange-skinned, ours are the latter. They are very sweet with a satiny smooth texture. You can slice it into wedges and roast it, cook it and puree it into soup, or simply replace it in your favorite pumpkin recipes (find some here). It pairs very well with Asian flavors. If you have some shiso, sweet peppers, and scallions to go along with it, you have the makings of a delicious tempura medley.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola or peanut 8 to 10 cups cubed kabocha squash, skin off or on (from 1 squash, 2 to 3 pounds); see note ½ cup thinly sliced or chopped scallions (6 to 8 scallions), more for serving About 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth Salt and ground black pepper Sriracha, soy sauce or both, for serving (optional)
In a wide skillet or wok, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the squash and toss with a spatula until evenly coated with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the scallions. Stir, then add 1/2 cup of broth and stir again. Adjust the heat to a simmer. If using skin-on squash, turn the pieces so that the skin is submerged; this allows them to cook evenly. Cover and simmer until squash is tender and skin (if using) is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure the pot isn’t cooking dry; add broth as needed to keep the mixture simmering. The broth will reduce and thicken into a light sauce. When cooked through, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, stir and taste the squash and the broth. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot, sprinkled with extra scallions. Ladle a little extra hot broth over each serving.
Kabocha Squash and Mustard Green Toasts From Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield
“I love the contrast between roasted squash and bitter greens. This duo works well not only on a dinner plate, but also as a rustic canape for passing or as a simple lunch…mustard, dressed with a little lemon and olive oil, will taste just as good.”
8 servings 1 small Kabocha squash, peeled and seeded, diced into ½-inch pieces 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons kosher salt 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 8 slices rustic bread 1 handful mustard greens, chopped and dressed with a little lemon and olive oil Flaky sea salt Freshly ground black pepper Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and thinly sliced garlic. Transfer the squash mixture to a roasting pan. Roast until the squash is very tender and slightly caramelized, about 35 minutes. Lightly brush the bread on both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and bake directly on an oven rack until lightly toasted. Spread the cooked squash on the toasts. Top with dressed mustard greens, and garnish with sea salt, pepper, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Candied Kabocha Squash From It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow Serves 4
1 kabocha squash 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted ½ teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (about 1 small sprig)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut each half into 8 pieces. Toss the squash with the remaining ingredients on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until caramelized and tender.