This week, kabocha squash was on sale. Half price. Score for me!
I had two problems, though.
2) When I made it to the grocery store, the sign was labelled as BUTTERCUP squash, though. The squashes had kabocha stickers, the flyer advertised kabocha squash, but the sign clearly stated buttercup squashes were on sale.
I haven’t tasted a kabocha, let alone really noticed them before (the one I bought at the Farmer’s market, that is still sitting in my kitchen, is a light shade of blue… and 8 lb.. and looked nothing like these squashes!). Furthermore, there was no way I could discern any differences from a buttercup squash. What to do???
If I had a cell phone, I could have done an emergency internet search… but I don’t have a cell phone. :P So I bought a bunch of squashes, drove home and then did my emergency squash search.
Turns out I am not the only person with the buttercup-kabocha quandary! Heather outlined the very subtle differences, focusing mostly on the butt of the squash.
Tell me how my squash butt compares. Did I buy a kabocha or a buttercup?
I suppose the proof is in the pudding. Or wrap, in this case.
I decided to roast the squash so that I could really taste it. Drizzled with a little hazelnut oil and only salt and pepper, this was a delicious squash. Denser, yet drier than a butternut squash. I found it had more flavour though and possibly a bit more sweet. Plus, the definitive bonus of the kabocha squash is that you don’t need to peel it!! I buy butternut squashes because I have become pretty adept at peeling it, but eating the peel is even easier! (FYI- the buttercup squash tends to cook up softer and falls apart quite easily).
Next, I went just a bit more fancy and stuffed the roasted squash into a collard wrap smothered with mashed avocado and cucumber, an idea that I borrowed from Gena at Choosing Raw. Gena has a wonderful way with pairing seemingly odd ingredients together, yet they work so well (remember the delectable apple and zesty cashew orange spread wrap?). Anyways, this was a very decadent wrap with the seasoned avocado working as a dressing, the cucumber conferring crunch all highlighting the hazelnut-flavoured roasted kabocha squash.
How do you prefer to eat your kabocha squash?
Hazelnut Roasted Kabocha Squash, Cucumber and Avocado Collard Wrap
1.5 lb kabocha squash
1 tbsp olive oil (I used hazelnut oil)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cucumber, sliced into 1/4 cm slices
1 avocado, mashed
8 large collard leaves (or Swiss chard, etc)
1. To roast the kabocha, preheat oven to 425F. Slice kabocha into wedges approximately 1-2 cm at its thickest (no need to peel!). Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Evenly place on a silpat-lined baking tray (it just helps with the clean-up).
2. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Flip squash over and cooko an additional 15 minutes, until it can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
3. To assemble a collard wrap, lay collard flat. Cut out the largest part of the stem, in the shape of a V (a good photo tutorial for making veggie-based wraps is here). Place a wedge of squash in the middle, although you may need to cut it in half to fit. Smear avocado overtop the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with cucumber slices. Roll as in the tutorial. Devour!