What’s a kuri squash? The other day, a friend mentioned that she tried one of these squashes, which we had never heard of before. Then, whaddya know, the next day our CSA basket 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). Yes, this squash is a bit difficult to slice because of its thick skin. However, it gets quite tender after roasting and you can eat slice after slice, skin and all.
Preparing Kuri Squash
Of course you can prepare this squash in any number of ways (soups, purees, fillings, breads). (Remember, we love our squash in all forms.) But the first time we served it, we wanted to keep it simple. We adapted this recipe for Roasted Honey/Balsamic Kuri Squash from an L.A. Times recipe via the Hatfield family. Best part: When roasted, the squash comes out looking like little smiles. Our kids have since named it the “smiley-faced squash.”
Roasted Honey/Balsamic Kuri Squash
An easy recipe to bring out the flavors of the kuri squash, a delicious little red squash.
- 1 kuri squash halved and seeded
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 1 tablespoons' worth of rosemary)
- Dash red chile pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and seed it. Then slice the squash 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. Continue cooking 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.
Here’s a tip for cutting through the tough outer edge of the squash: Hold it with a towel if necessary. Make an incision on the side and cut from stem to base (without going all the way through). Then flip the squash over and repeat, making a cut from stem to base. Then join the cuts by slicing through the base. Finally, grab each half and pull apart to split it at the top by the stem.
Answers to your questions: Yes, you can eat the skin. Yes, it should be a little brown on the edges. No, you can’t stop at just one slice (or at least we couldn’t).
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I have one of those! I better get busy cooking so I can enjoy it too!
Thanks for identifying what I had-
Soooo delicious looking. What is the benefit of cooking them on the racks, vs. simply putting them on parchment?
Thanks, Stephanie! The idea is that it allows the heat to circulate and it cooks a little more quickly/evenly. : )
I’ve never actually seen a kuri squash but I would love to get my hands on one. Love how simple and beautiful this dish is.
wow, this looks amazing!!! love the shot on the rack. all so pretty!
Your post made me laugh – our little ones say the same thing about the delicata squash slices – smiley squash! Your photos are really beautiful and the recipes sound so very tempting. So very glad to hear you loved your kuri. I’ve never tried baking on a rack – thanks for the tip. I’m collecting quite a few while enjoying your site.
Just wondering how one slices such a squash without losing fingers?
Great question! I have this issue too! I’d say 1) Use a really sharp knife; 2) hold it with a towel if that helps; 3) Make a cut around the side (from stem to bottom); 4) Flip it over and make a cut around the other side (from stem to bottom); 5) Slice through the base; 6) Pull apart the two halves so that you break it open at the stem. Hope that helps!