Friday, October 1, 2010

Grab it and go -- what do I do with this Kabocha Squash?

I was in Whole Foods the other day, stocking up, and there was a large display of winter squash. Summer being a distant memory, I thought it was OK to be thinking about the longer indoor cooking times dictated by these. I usually get butternut, since it's easy to peel (and I'm not big on roasting the acorns and scooping out the insides. There, on sale, was a kabocha sqaush. Never heard of it. I looked at the description, and one thing caught my eye -- the skin is edible. Even better than something that's easy to peel. I grabbed one. It looks something like an acorn, but larger and with flattened poles. It sat in the fruit basket for a few days.

Susan asked, "what's for dinner?" I answered, "leftovers." She looked sad. I poked around a bit, and eyed the kabocha, sitting in the fruit basket.

IMG_5849I grabbed the squash (which conveniently had a little label so I could remember what the heck it was), come to the computer and asked The Google about it. First hit -- wikipedia. Of course. Confirmed that the skin is edible. Discovered that it's often used in tempura. Has a consistency that's like sweet potato. Hmmm.

Next. Tiny Urban Kitchen. Seems I'd heard of that blog, but had never read it. The first line of the post Oven Roasted Kabocha Squash said, "It's official. I love love love kabocha squash. It's like candy for me." Voila.

Although Susan was drawn to the idea of the kabocha squash gnocchi like a moth to flame, I was draw to the pictures of the crescent shaped slices of kabocha squash with oil and an little pepper. Slice em up. Brush with a little oil. Salt and pepper. Into a 400 degree oven. Come back 20 minutes later. Enjoy. You can read the official recipe on Jennifer's blog, but really, it's that simple. Oh, be careful about cutting those squash open. An accident waiting to happen. Really.

The skins really are edible. The texture is a little chalky. Like a potato, or sweet potato. The first bite is a puzzlement. Then the complex sweetness takes over. Not too sweet. The texture fills your mouth and stays there a bit. Smile.

I didn't have truffle oil on hand, as suggested by Jennifer. I did have some olive oil, which was ok. And some sesame oil which was also good. I liked the sesame oil on it.

I know that there are other suggestions for how to make kabocha squash on Jennifer's site -- in the comments. I'll read them soon. Until then, Susan and I were brainstorming up some ideas. Cut in half and fill with brown rice, sausage and tomatoes (or roasted tomatoes!) Unlike and acorn squash, you wouldn't have to do any scooping. Just eat the whole thing. And maybe those gnocchi someday.

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