butternut and acorn, but also carnival, hubbard, turban and other lesser known varieties.
This means, of course, that I finally was able to procure kabocha squash. I wrote in a previous blog that I had a delicious preparation of kabocha squash at SEI back in March and that I've been stalking it ever since. Now that squash is available in abundance, I was able to procure one. Granted, once I bought it, I didn't have the foggiest idea what to do with it.
So, I did some research. Kabocha is also known as Japanese Pumpkin, likely because of it's pumpkin-like shape and the fact that it is primarily grown in Japan. It is also a popular component of vegetable tempura, which means many of us have probably had it without realizing it. Kabocha, like many bright orange vegetables, is rich in beta carotene, and also a nice source of iron, vitamin C and potassium.
soups with thyme, and I figured I could get the same flavors by cubing and roasting the kabocha and seasoning it with fresh herbs. This was an excellent plan, but I didn't take one thing into consideration. The kabocha is the Fort Knox of vegetables. I even had trouble hacking through it with my trusty Wusthoff. So, after I finally got it in half, I scraped out the seeds, put it face down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and roasted the kabocha halves in the oven at 400 for 40 minutes.
I took the kabocha out of the oven to cool. In the meantime, I minced a shallot, prepped the fresh thyme and shredded some kale. When the kabocha was cool enough to handle, I began cutting chunks of it from the shells. It had an almost crumbly texture - possibly, I let it cook for too long, but it had a nice flavor.
I then put the shallots to work in a gob of soy-free Earth Balance, and then added the kabocha chunks, thyme, salt and pepper, kale and fresh parsley. I then added in some leftover freekeh from last night. It looked a little dry, so I added a splash of wine to moisten things up.
The result was a nice, filling cold-weather meal. The kabocha was similar to butternut squash, but nuttier and creamier (the latter creaminess may have come from the large hunk of faux butter I cooked it in). I put just the right amount of salt in to enhance the flavor of the whole shebang as well.