Squash + Gourds
Whether it plays a starring role, or is combined with other squash such as acorn or butternut, kabocha squash lends itself to all kinds of wonderful recipes. Purée it with carrots for the perfect holiday side dish, or turn it into crispy fritters paired with a yuzu-garlic dipping sauce. Roast it with maple syrup and fresh ginger, vanilla butter, or a simple combination of extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper (to be finished with crispy bulgur crumbs). Whichever method you choose, you'll have delicious results. Read on for even more kabocha squash recipes we love.
This homemade alternative flour is a great way to use up leftover squash and pumpkin seeds. Dehydrating leftover squash and pumpkin seeds in the oven leaves them just dry enough to blitz them into a multipurpose, protein-rich flour meal that highlights their nutty, sweet, and lightly vegetal flavor. Stir it into the Spicy Squash Seed Sprinkle, or add to baked quick breads, cookies, or biscuits.
Strands of mild, lightly savory baked spaghetti squash get the quick-pickle treatment in a punchy brine packed with thyme, rosemary, garlic, and chile. The squash keeps its pleasant bite, resulting in a slaw-like crunch perfect for a cheeseboard or a roast pork sandwich. For the longest strands, cut the squash into rings and pull them apart by gently picking at the strands rather than scraping.
In Vietnam, kabocha squash is simmered with pork to make a soup called canh bi do thit heo. This riff on that classic dish swaps in mild butternut, which holds its shape well and absorbs the rich flavors of the broth and pork while cooking quickly. Filled with tender ground pork marinated in fish sauce and sugar, this aromatic, brothy soup comes together in under an hour for a light and satisfying meal.
Calabaza en tacha, a Mexican dessert traditionally prepared for Día de los Muertos, was the inspiration for these candied pumpkins drenched with a rich syrup made from piloncillo cones, an unrefined, molasses-laden Mexican cane sugar. Small sugar pie pumpkins have more concentrated sugars, making them perfect for this simple dessert. As the pumpkin wedges cool, they soak up the syrup, resulting in custardy bites laced with cinnamon, clove, and a hint of orange. Serve leftovers mashed in a yogurt or ice cream parfait, churned into pumpkin ice cream, or alongside gingerbread cookies with crema drizzled on top.
Inspired by Cassie Piuma's squash spanakopita at her restaurant, Sarma, in Somerville, Massachusetts, this stuffed pumpkin is filled with a nutty, creamy blend of Gruyère and feta cheeses; sweet, anise-scented fennel; and hearty green lacinato kale for a stunning vegetarian main dish fit for any holiday table. After roasting and before stuffing, scrape the inside of the pumpkin to loosen about 3 cups of the sweet, tender flesh to yield a flavorful base for the kale filling. Use a gentle hand when scraping to leave the pumpkin walls intact.