Have I mentioned yet how much I love Autumn. It brings so many beautiful things; Cool air…. colorful leaves….winter squash. Yes, I L-O-V-E winter squashes, there are so many varieties, they are so tasty and nutritious, they store well, you get bonus seeds to roast, and they are relatively easy to make. Not to mention, when they are in season they are cheap too, less than $2 a pound, so load up! This week I bought a couple of Kabocha Squash, which I had previously only had in a Japanese style pumpkin curry, so I decided to roast it, and then use the roasted squash to make some recipes.
I used to have a love/hate relationship with roasting squash. I think, it was because cutting them was so tough and annoying. Then I found out you can roast them whole, and now it’s really the easiest thing ever. Which brings us to the first dish.
- Naked Roasted Kobocha Squash
It’s almost too easy. The flavor of a good Kabocha is so delicious on its own, that you don’t even need to season. Simply place the squash on a pan, and poke some holes in it with a fork. Then stick it in the oven, preheated to 375 degrees, and roast for 60-90 minutes until it’s easy to stick a fork in it. Cut it open, scoop out the seeds (and save them for roasting later!), and cut up or scoop out of the skin.
After scooping out all the roast squash, I used about half of it (so a whole Kabocha) to make the next dish. It originally was going to be a soup, but I got lazy and didn’t feel like watering it down. I’m glad I didn’t because I really like it came out. Thicker than a soup, but creamier and thinner than mashed potatoes. It’s actually almost like a dessert. The coconut milk brings out the sweetness of the kabocha, but the best part is, there is no added sweetener.
2. Kabocha Squash Puree
- 1 Can Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
- 8 oz Vegetable Broth (I used Pacific Brand)
- Thyme, Nutmeg, Salt, Pepper
Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and using a hand blender, mix until smooth and creamy. Heat (unless it’s already warm from roasting) and serve.
Finally, I took a bit more of the roasted squash, and made this final dish. I got inspired to do the spinach/squash/nut mixture when remembering these vegan pumpkin kibbeh things I had a few weeks ago. It clued me in that the flavors went well together, so I came up with this side.
3. Spinach Kobucha Saute
- Roasted Kobocha
- Pine Nuts
- LIGHTLY season with Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg, , cinnamon, paprika, ginger, and half a dash of cardamom.
In a pan with some duck fat (and I also used the juice from the steak I just cooked) saute all ingredients for a few minutes until the spinach and garlic are cooked. Stir in seasoning.
I served all three dishes as sides for a wonderful steak. I believe it was a top sirloin. For the steak I marinated it in a combination of thyme, salt, pepper, paprika, ginger, apple cider vinegar, allspice, and nutmeg. Then I cooked it in a pan, in a little tallow, 4 minutes per side before letting it rest for 10 minutes. It was a perfect medium rare. All together, not including the squash roasting time, this whole meal took under an hour, which is great!