Our love affair with kabocha (aka green hokkaido)

Sometimes you taste something ever so simple and the flavour and texture win you over immediately. That’s what happened the first time we roasted kabocha squash.

This squash variety was introduced to Japan in the 16th Century by Portuguese traders who brought the vegetable from Cambodia. It is now widely used in Japan in tempura and elegant Kyoto cuisine. And luckily for its fans, it is now grown all over the world.

 All we did before roasting it (30-40 minutes at 220 ºC/ 430 ºF, until tender inside and a little browned on the surface) was to cut it into wedges, drizzle it with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with some coarse salt. That’s all! Its flesh is dense yet fluffy, its bite smooth and creamy and its sweet flavour reminiscent of chestnuts. And as a bonus, you can eat the cooked skin.

It contains plenty of beta carotene, iron, vitamin C and potassium. It is delicious just roasted (as above) but also in soups and in our baked pumpkin gnocchi recipe.