It’s autumn, which means that every time you go to a market, you’ll find squashes of all colors, shapes, and sizes. The other day, my sister-in-law mentioned that she has been enjoying a sweet little squash known as a red kuri squash, which I had never heard of before. Then, whaddya know, the next day my CSA box arrived with a little red kuri squash inside.
The kuri squash are notable for their reddish color and onion-like shape. In French, they’re known as potimarron (marron meaning chestnut, because the squash has a distinct chestnut flavor when roasted). What’s interesting about this squash is that even though it’s difficult to slice when uncooked, the skin is quite tender after roasting and you can eat slice after slice, skin and all.
Of course you can prepare this squash in any number of ways (soups, purees, fillings, breads) but for the first time I served it, I wanted to keep it simple. I adapted this recipe for Roasted Honey/Balsamic Kuri Squash from an L.A. Times recipe via the Hatfield family. Best part: When these slices are roasted, they come out looking like little smiles, so this squash will forever be known in our house as the “smiley-faced squash.”
Roasted Honey/Balsamic Kuri Squash
1 kuri squash, halved and seeded
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, about 1 tablespoon’s worth of sprigs
Dash chile pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the squash by slicing it into thin wedges. Place the wedges in a large bowl. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the honey and the balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it bubbles and reduces down to a slightly thicker syrup (about five minutes). Pour the honey/balsamic mixture and the olive oil over the squash. Add rosemary and chile pepper flakes and stir well to combine.
Prepare a long baking sheet by covering it with foil, then place a baking rack or cooling rack on top. Arrange the squash slices on the baking rack over the foil. Bake for about 1 hour, or until slices are tender. Serve while still warm. Serves 4.
Thanksgiving challenge: Do you think you can stop at just one slice? We sure couldn’t.