Kabocha Squash, 3 Ways

I know I recently said that delicata was my favorite squash, but I also have to sing the praises of kabocha. I love it in spicy coconut curries, roasted in a bit of olive oil, pureed into soup, and especially when I get slices of it in a bento box lunch, all crispy tempura.IMG_1703

The farmer’s market has so many beautiful varieties of winter squash right now, and my most recent kabocha ended up with three different destinies: roasted seeds, slices for Korean kimbap, and pureed into kabocha ginger ice cream.

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For the seeds, I cleaned them off in a strainer to remove the fleshy string bits and then tossed them with olive oil and a sprinkle of espresso chili rub that I often use for steak. I toasted them in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once, at 300. Full confession, these weren’t my favorite roasted pumpkin seeds. The hull to “meat” ratio is not the best, so they’re quite chewy. With the chili rub, they were still delicious though, and we ate them all.

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For the kimbap, I sliced crescent moons, tossed them in olive oil and roasted till tender (about 20 minutes at 300). You can see some of the other fillings pictured below.

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To make the kimbap, we covered sheets of seaweed (“gim” in Korean) with a thin layer of sticky rice and then rolled our toppings up inside. The slices were served with a lot of kimchi and beer.

My vision for the kabocha ginger ice cream was inspired by classic pumpkin pie. I roasted half of the squash until very tender and scooped out the bright orange flesh. The skin was so tender and delicious that we ate that as a snack, sprinkled with sea salt. I just figured that the green and orange blended together would not be pretty in the ice cream.

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I then pureed the flesh with whole milk, 2 egg yolks, fresh grated ginger, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla and sea salt. I let my vitamix run on the hot soup setting to cook the custard and then chilled it overnight (ok, I also ate quite a bit of it straight out of the blender). After freezing it in my ice cream maker, I topped it with candied walnuts and coconut milk caramel sauce!

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