Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rock the Kabocha, Rock the Kabocha

Classic punk rock? For me, it's The Clash of England (good book here).

Classic winter squash? For me, it's the kabocha of Japan.

Eating local in the fall? No problem! There are still some herbs growing, and there were fresh raspberries to be picked at the start of October. In keeping with the kabocha theme, I harvested herbs and berries in a kombucha bottle. I love G.T. Dave's original kombucha. It's fizzy and has potential medical benefits. It's my Starbucks latte, my superb splurge.
Trashed ornamental squash hiding, ashamed.

I used foil as my workspace & to wrap the squash to go!
One lesson I learned: Ornamental squash (that is not kabocha squash) can be bitter and tragically vile. So, though this beaut that has yellow stripes is photographed, it 'twas trashed.
One piece of advice: Buy a BIG OLE kabocha squash! They taste great, even chilled the next day (after a tweeny sleep-over in the fridge. I hear that okra and ginger root stay up all night and squirt whipped cream all over the faces of the sleepy celery stalks).

One consideration: Though the fresh herbs look way classy on the squash cradles, they are really, really strong. I would suggest chopping them up finely, or just sprinkling some dry herbs and possibly using the fresh herbs as garnish (though it is a quite colorful side-dish even without the fresh herbs!).
One recipe:

Rock the Kabocha Cradles (vega'n'glutenfree)

kabocha squash (size of your choice)
fresh raspberries (about a cup, but if you have a squash larger than a 2-cup pyrex measurer, I'd use 1.5--2 cups. Raspberry jam could also work well, with about 1.5 teaspoons per cradle/slice)
a plum (simply cut into as many slices as you have kabocha slices)
pink or sea salt (one pinch per slice)
macadamia nuts (1 or 2 per slice. I used raw ones, but roasted ones would work well too)
mint (a sprig per slice, or a pinch of dried per slice)
sage (a sprig per slice, or a pinch of dried per slice)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut your squash in half. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Using a cookie sheet (preferably more of a jellyroll pan that has sides in case the squash leaks), turn the squash upside down and place in the oven. It should take about 30-50 minutes (the larger the squash, the longer the baking time) for it to bake to a soft-enough-but-still-cradle-strong-consistency.
Pretty yellow & orange ornamental squash continues to feel shame. FOREVER ALONE
Okay, so your squash has cooled for about 10 minutes. Time to whip out the cleaver and slice those squash halves into cradle-like structures (as many as you please!). Once the cradles are resting with the flesh face-up, fill with raspberries, macadamia nuts, & a slice of plum. To finish, sprinkle/garnish with salt, mint, & sage.

Noms with class right there.

One thing to remember: I will rap for food (if only Cee Lo still rapped rapidly, more like Twista. . .), so if you make some, email me at my *new*, **official** blog address(!!!):!!!!) or comment on the blog(!!!!!)

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