Kabocha Squash

kabocha_squash

About Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is a sweeter cousin of butternut squash. It’s dense like butternut, which makes it great for soups and curries, but it’s also sweet like pumpkin and is even used in some desserts in Japan. Unlike butternut, the skin of kabocha is thin and softens up during roasting so that you can eat it. Most people roast the squash halves unpeeled and then cut out the delicious sweet moist insides for whatever dish they cook up. Most of the kabocha grown in the United States gets shipped directly over to Japan, but you get a chance to try out this delicious Asian favorite yourself!

Recipes

Slow-Cooker Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew

kabocha-stew

from Skinny Taste

Yield: 6 servings

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour (gluten free would work)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs stew beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 pound Kobacha squash, peeled seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • crusty bread, for serving (optional)

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook 4 minutes, or until the onion is tender.

Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef and toss gently to coat. Add the beef to the pan in batches and cook, turning occasionally until browned on all side and golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala and scrape up the browned bits from the pan.

Transfer everything to the slow cooker, add the squash, sun-dried tomatoes and broth and stir. Cover and cook 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Serve with crusty bread and sprinkle with parsley.

Lasagna With Roasted Kabocha Squash and Béchamel

kabocha-lasagna

from The New York Times

Cooking Time: 2 hours

Yield: 6 – 8 servings

  • 3 pounds kabocha squash
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot or onion
  • 3 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups low-fat milk (1 percent)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • ½ pound no-boil lasagna noodles (or a little more, depending on the size of your lasagna pan)
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the squash into big chunks, brush the exposed flesh with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place on the baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes or until squash is tender enough to be pierced through to the skin with a paring knife. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until you can handle it, then cut away the skin and cut in thin slices. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

While the squash is in the oven, make the béchamel. Heat the remaining oil over medium heat in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the shallot or onion and cook, stirring, until it has softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and bubbling, but not browned. It should have the texture of wet sand. Whisk in the milk all at once and bring to a simmer, whisking all the while, until the mixture begins to thicken. Turn the heat to very low and simmer, stirring often with a whisk and scraping the bottom and edges of the pan with a rubber spatula, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick and has lost its raw flour taste. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Strain while hot into a large measuring cup or a medium bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and 1 tablespoon of the sage.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a rectangular baking dish. Spread a spoonful of béchamel over the bottom. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spread a thin layer of the béchamel over the noodles. Top with half the squash. Season the squash with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles topped with béchamel and Parmesan. Sprinkle the remaining sage over the top. Make sure the noodles are well coated with béchamel so they will soften during baking.

Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake 40 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the mixture is bubbling. Uncover and, if you wish, bake another 5 to 10 minutes until the top begins to brown. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Spicy Squash Salad with Lentils and Goat Cheese

spicy-squash-salad-with-lentils-and-goat-cheese1

from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 3 as main or 6 as side

  • 3/4 cup black or green lentils
  • 6 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash, kabocha, or sugar pumpkin (1-inch cubes) (from about a 2-pound squash)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 cups baby arugula (I skipped this)
  • 1 cup soft crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves (optional; I used this, but added it after I took a photo)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus additional to taste
  • Roasted seeds (about 1/2 cup) from your butternut squash (optional; see note above)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash or pumpkin cubes with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Flip pieces and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Cool.

Meanwhile, soak lentils for 10 minutes in a small bowl, then drain. Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then drain and cool.

Combine lentils, pumpkin, any oil you can scrape from the baking sheet (I didn’t get enough for this to be worth it) with arugula, if using, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and extra vinegar, if desired (we felt it needed it). Divide among plates and pass with remaining goat cheese to sprinkle.

Kabocha Ravioli with a Toasted Hazelnut Cream Sauce

kabocha-ravioli

from Spoon Fork Bacon

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1 kabocha pumpkin (2-3 pounds), steamed
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 sheets fresh pasta sheets or 50 wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • hazelnut cream sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • optional garnish:
  • fried sage leaves

Scoop steamed flesh of squash into a mixing bowl and discard the peel.

Add parmesan, thyme and garlic to the mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Place 3 pasta sheets or ½ the wonton wrappers onto a lightly floured surface and drop 1 ½ tablespoons of the filling mixture onto the surface of the pasta, 2 inches apart. (if using wonton wrappers, place a dollop of filling onto each wrapper)

Brush a small amount of the egg wash over the surface or the pasta or wonton wrapper and place an unused sheet of pasta/wrapper over the top and gently press around the filling to remove any air and seal the sheets/wrapper together.

Cut the raviolis using a 2½-3 inch circle cutter and place onto a baking sheet, discarding all the scraps.

Bring a large pot of water up to a boil and season well with salt. Carefully drop the raviolis into the water one at a time and stir. Allow the raviolis to boil for 5 to 7 minutes and drain.

Drizzle raviolis with a small amount of olive oil, to prevent them from sticking, and set aside.

For the sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté shallot and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme sprigs and continue to sauté for an additional minute.

Deglaze with the wine and allow the mixture to simmer until the pan is almost dry. Add cream and ½ the hazelnuts and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or until the cream has reduced by ½. Season with salt and pepper.

Strain the sauce and stir in the remaining hazelnuts. Place the ravioli onto a platter or individual plates and drizzle with the cream sauce. Garnish with fried sage leaves, if using, and serve warm.

Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash

from Chow Hound

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (from about a 1-1/2-inch piece)
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 (13- to 14-ounce) can unsweetened regular coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 medium kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Steamed white rice or steamed brown rice, for serving

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 6 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and ginger, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the curry paste, stir to coat the onion-pepper mixture, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.

Stir in the squash, return to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is fork-tender but still firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with salt as needed.

Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately over steamed rice.

Squash Fries

squash-fries

from Pop Sugar

For fries:

  • 1 large kabocha squash, unpeeled, cut lengthwise, seeds removed with a spoon, and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For dip:

  • 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (use more or less, depending on desired heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash and olive oil until well coated. Spread the squash in an even layer across the baking sheet, making sure each piece is touching the surface of the pan, to ensure even browning. Sprinkle with the sea salt.

Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, then flip and roast for another 25 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 500°F. Continue to bake for another 5 minutes, or until the kabocha squash is golden brown and crispy on both sides.

 

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