Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Oven Roasted Kabocha Squash

I am so in love with kabocha squash. It is a Japanese squash and often called a Japanese pumpkin. It is very reminiscent of pumpkin but denser, sweeter, and more amazing (to me, anyway). I first heard of kabocha when I got The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. I found it at Whole Foods and have been hooked ever since. I can also find it at our local Japanese grocery store, The Pacific Mercantile. You can use kabocha squash like you would use any other winter squash but my favorite way to eat it is also the simplest way to prepare it.

Oven Roasted Kabocha Squash

Kabocha Squash Sprout

Kabocha Squash Thriving in Summer

Kabocha Squash

Last year, when seed shopping for my garden, I came across kabocha squash seeds. I was so excited and had to try it. That first season I had no luck but this year the seeds sprouted and the plant did very well. I have been tending to this first homegrown kabocha squash for months and am so excited I was able to grow one.

1 kabocha squash
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp - 1/2 tsp salt

pinch of nutmeg
drizzle of maple syrup (about 1 tsp)


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the kabocha squash and cut it in half. Then scoop out the seeds and cut it into half moon slices about 1" thick. If you squash is organic then go ahead and leave the peel on.

Drizzle the slices with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning. If you want a sweeter squash add the nutmeg and maple syrup. The best process I have found for this is to drizzle with the olive oil first and use your hands to massage the oil into each slice of squash to really distribute it evenly. Then I sprinkle the seasonings over the slices and massage them in again to distribute the seasoning.

Spread the slices on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes turning them over halfway through. I used two cookie sheets and did half of the squash with the salt and pepper only, and added the nutmeg and maple syrup to the other pan.

They are irresistible and I love to eat them just like this.

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