Friday, January 28, 2011

Foodie Friday: Roasted Kabocha Squash

Photo credit: Michelle Loy. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

I was introduced to the lovely kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin by my mom, who's from Thailand.  I remember it vividly because in Thailand they call it "fak thong", which in English sounds like a 4-letter word,   so she was a bit embarrassed talking about it over dinner.  The kabocha is fairly new on the scene in the U.S., so it's pretty hot in the world of winter squash right now.  Kabocha has a lovely sweet flavor and smooth texture when cooked.  It's chock full of nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, manganese, and fiber.  It can be prepared in many of the same ways that other winter squashes, such as butternut or acorn squash, are prepared.  In sticking with my theme of "simplicity" this month, I am introducing you to a simple roasted kabocha.  Though simple, this can serve as a great springboard for a variety of other preparations for kabocha, such as mashed or pureed kabocha or kabocha soup.  Now go! Explore and let me know what you think.

Roasted Kabocha Squash 

1 kabocha squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 Tbsp Olive oil or an olive oil mister
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the kabocha into about 1/2-1-inch thick slices.  Place the squash in a large bowl and drizzle (or mist) with the olive oil.  Toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss again.  *Note: You can also experiment with other seasonings, such as sage, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, shredded or shaved Parmesan, or cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar.     
  3. Arrange in a single layer onto a baking sheet.  Heat in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until soft.  (Even the skin gets soft, so you can eat it, too!)
Serves: 6-8
Nutritional Information: 
Calories: 94   Carbohydrate: 16 g   Fat: 3.5 g   Monounsaturated fat: 2.5 g   Protein:  1.4 g   Cholesterol: 0 mg   Fiber:   2 g   Sugar (natural)   3 g   Sodium:  26 mg    


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