Happy Boy Produce

SEASON: Fall, Winter, Spring

 

WINTER KEEPERS:

Kabocha can typically last for 4 to 5 months, if you can wait that long to eat them!

Orange Kabocha

An Employee Favorite!

Posted by Tent

When summer finally winds down and the supply of sweet heirloom tomatoes begins to dwindle, many Happy Boy shoppers - and employees - seek solace in the various winter squash making their debut at markets. Of these winter squash, orange kabocha has quickly climbed the ranks as many people's favorite. I personally find the orange kabocha pretty irresistible, even on a visual level - they look like a squat pumpkin, with a twisty stem and mottled outer texture perfectly suited for a fairy tale or Martha Stewart's rustic Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Beyond aesthetics, most of us think the orange kabocha is one of - if not THE - sweetest winter squash we grow, with a rich velvety texture and beautiful golden flesh. Lacking the pumpkin's stringiness, and more moist and sweet than their green kabocha relatives, these little guys are ideal in baked goods like cookies and breads. And don't forget the pie. This winter I had a few customers mistake an orange kabocha for a pumpkin and later made their best "pumpkin" pie ever with it - they came back the next week celebrating their accidental discovery and spent the rest of the winter devoted kabocha squash lovers. Sometimes they even brought us pie. If you want to know the closest way to most Happy Boys' hearts, it's pie.

Sweet tooth aside, orange kabochas are also excellent in savory dishes. Roast some up and add to our sauteed winter greens - their flavor perfectly balances out the bitterness of broccoli raab, radicchio or dandelions. I've tried them as a substitute for sweet potatoes in gratins, and even alone they shine - wedge one up, toss with olive oil and tamari, and roast for 30 minutes for an easy but simply delicious dish.

Go for kabocha that are heavy for their size, without any soft spots. If you plan on eating their skin, look for ones without too many imperfections, although they are only superficial and can be easily cut off.

Storage

Kabocha stores best in a cool, dry, dark place, outside of the fridge and away from other ripening fruit. Their cooked flesh can also be frozen for kabocha pie all year-round. Did I mention I like pie?

Nutrition

Kabocha is high in vitamins A and C, beta-carotene and fiber.

Recipes and Pairings

    2 Total Recipes

Orange kabocha is great roasted alone with olive oil and tamari, or cinnamon and cayenne. It's also is my squash of choice for sweet baked goods like cookies, pies, breads, muffins, biscuits, pies, as well as pies. Add to salads, sauteed winter greens or escarole. Its creamy texture pairs well with goat cheese and hazelnuts, walnuts or pine-nuts, and also works well in curries and risottos.