This one makes a great presentation for Halloween. Hope you all have a spooky one!
In our last CSA box we received a beautiful Kabocha squash (which I'll admit I originally thought was a pumpkin). Matt immediately knew that he wanted to prepare it similar to the Roast Pumpkin with Cheese "Fondue" that he found on Gourmet.
Basically, you clean out a pumpkin (or squash), fill it with bread, cheese, cream & chicken stock & then let the whole thing cook in the oven until the filling is melted & creamy & the squash is soft. We decided to add an extra component & put some cooked Italian sausage to the filling (because we love our pork!). Everything is scooped out & served together.
This was one fantastic dish! Perfect for a cold winter's coming kind of night. We love, love, loved the Kabocha squash, it has a sweet yet nutty flavor that worked well with the cheeses. The addition of the sausage really added great flavor to the dish & I think helped elevate it from a side dish to a entrée.
The Gourmet recipe had you cook this in the lower third of the oven but we found that just made the bottom of our squash cook faster than the top so I would do it in the center of the oven next time.
Roast Kabocha Squash with Cheese & Sausage
(All the quantities of the filling ingredients are approximate, the amount you use will be based on the size of your squash.)
4.5 lb Kabocha squash (or pumpkin)
1/2 c chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 c heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg
6 oz of grated cheese (we used a mixture of gruyere & swiss)
7 - 10 1/2-inch slices of baguette, toasted until just crisp
4 oz bulk Italian sausage, cooked
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Oil a roasting pan or baking sheet with sides.
Cut open your squash at the top with about a 3-inch circle. Clean out the pulp & seeds from the inside & & top.
Whisk the broth, cream & nutmeg together.
Place a layer of bread slices inside the squash. Top with some of the cheese & sausage then pour a some of the cream mixture over to soften the bread. Continue these layers until you have filled the squash about 1/2-inch from the top. Place the top bake on the squash.
Put the squash on your prepared pan & rub olive oil all over the skin. Bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours of until the squash is tender. The filling will puff up & spill over the side while cooking.
Scoop the filling into bowls & top with squash.
Serves 2 - 4
Our squash was quite thick so there wasn't a huge inside to fill. We had enough filling with squash for the two of us but also had about 2 cups of roast squash left over to use in other things.