Kabocha squash is a winter squash that frankly I had never heard of before I saw it at my grocery store the other day. It looks like a tiny green pumpkin, and that’s pretty much what it is; some people call it a “Japanese pumpkin”, even though it is much sweeter than your average pumpkin. It’s got an almost candy-like sweetness, kind of like a sweet potato, but not as firm. The squash can be used in place of either pumpkin or sweet potato in any recipe, from baked goods to Thanksgiving dishes, but I wanted to keep it simple for my first kabocha recipe. I thought that the sweetness of the squash would work well with brussels sprouts, red onions, and a touch of balsamic vinegar and honey. It was hard for me to stop picking pieces of brussels sprouts and squash off of my roasting tray while I finished cooking the dish that I made alongside this one (more to come on that later). This is one of my new favorite vegetables, without a doubt. While the rind is quite hard, and you may or may not have a sore hand from cutting it off, it’s completely worth it. I’ve read that you can actually eat the skin of a kabocha squash, but we’ll save that for another day. Part of the reason I love living in New York is because I can walk down the street and see something completely new to me, like this squash, but I’m sure that it is widely available if you look hard enough! I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more and more kabocha squash recipes popping up everywhere from your favorite websites to magazines to TV shows, so get in on this kabocha trend early by roasting them simply with your favorite winter vegetables.
Scoop the seeds out of the squash, remove the rind, and cube.
Place the cubed squash in a large bowl.
Wash and halve your brussels sprouts, and add them to your squash with your onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Arrange your vegetables on a baking sheet or roasting pan, brush with your combined balsamic vinegar and honey, and roast at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, until tender.
Garnish with a pinch of fresh oregano and serve warm.
- 1 2 lb. kabocha squash, peeled and diced
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, washed and halved
- ½ a red onion, cubed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed and roughly chopped
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the rind off of the squash, scoop out the seeds, and cube it. The rind is quite tough, so make sure you use a good knife and be cautious! Add the cubed squash to a large bowl, along with the cleaned and halved brussels sprouts, cubed red onion, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat, and set aside.
- Heat the balsamic vinegar and honey together until the honey has completely dissolved. Arrange your vegetables on a baking sheet, then brush the balsamic and honey over the brussels sprouts and kabocha squash. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the brussels sprouts and squash are tender. Sprinkle a pinch or two of freshly chopped oregano over the vegetables and serve warm.