It took me a few years to accept the fact that squash is available year round and can be eaten during the summer. We can now wear our white shoes after Labor Day, so why not eat winter squash in the summer? Right? It is not often that I see organic kabocha squashes in the supermarket (even in the winter); so when I do, I always grab one. Since I had a kabocha squash sitting on my countertop for a few days and had just bought fresh greens, I searched some cookbooks to see if I could find a recipe combining the two. I found what I was looking for and adapted the following recipe from the cookbook “Clean Food” by Terry Walters. I tweaked it just a bit to suit my tastes.
I just want to mention that I used to shy away from preparing squash dishes. Squash seemed like such a pain in the neck to deal with. How was one supposed to cut through that hard shell? Would it take an eternity to peel? I urge you not to avoid squash the way I used to, because it is not such a hassle to prepare and it is really delicious. The recipe I made tonight does not require the squash to be peeled; but let me give you the following tips if you are dealing with squash in the future:
1. Microwave the entire squash for about three minutes to soften it before cutting.
2. After the squash is cut in half, place the squash halves with the flat sides down on the counter or cutting board to prevent slipping while peeling each half at a time.
3. It is essential that you use the following peeler, and not the long thin one that you use for your potatoes…
Take my advice and give squash a chance. This tasty and vibrant looking dish was easy to prepare and quite satisfying for dinner. It could also be served as a side, instead of as an entree. You could even add some tofu to it or sprinkle it with some toasted sesame or sunflower seeds to add more nutritional value.
ROASTED KABOCHA SQUASH WITH KALE AND COLLARD GREENS
1 organic kabocha squash
2 shallots, minced
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar separated as follows: 3 tablespoons to use with the roasting of the squash and 2 tablespoons to use when sauteeing the greens
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch of kale, chopped (I just rip pieces off of the stem)
1 small bunch of collard greens, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425degrees
Cut the kabocha squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks, leaving the skin on.
Mix the squash with the minced shallots, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil and salt.
Roast the squash for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When squash is done (it should be tender), remove from the oven and set aside.
In a large pan, saute the garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the just washed kale and collard greens in batches (they should still be a little wet) to the pan, stirring constantly until they have just started to wilt. Then add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar to the pan and stir with the greens for one minute longer.
Add the squash to the greens, mix and serve.