Saturday: Roast Kabocha with Cheese “Fondue”

I orginally found this recipe while writing another post and having absolutely no idea how to spell “kabocha” – this is when Google is your friend!  I figured an image search would be best, so I would have a photo to tell me this was really the right word.  One of the links I found was to this blog from a couple in Minneapolis, (which seems like a blog I’ll be reading a lot now).  They had adjusted this recipe themselves (great minds, right?) to use the kabocha they found in their CSA box, and made some changes already (click here to see what they did).  I believe them that sausage sounds like an amazing addition and that kabocha adds a nice flavor element that wouldn’t necessarily be present with pumpkin.  As usual, I’m taking out these parts of the published recipe, and adding in these parts.

Kabocha lid

Roast Pumpkin Kabocha with Cheese “Fondue”

Gourmet  | November 2008
Serves8 (main course) or 12 (side dish)

Active time:25 min; Start to finish:2 hr

  • 1 (157-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 oz total)
  • 1 (73-lb) orange pumpkin kobucha squash
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/24  teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 1 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 2 oz)
  • 2 1/2 1 cups coarsely grated Emmental Monterey Jack (62 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.
  2. Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  3. Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem off top 2 inches with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin squash; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin squash with 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
  5. Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup layer of cheese and about 1/2 cup pour enough cream mixture to fill in. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
  6. Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  7. You’ll know the squash is done when you take the “lid” off and the entire side-wall of the squash is cooked through.  Scoop filling & squash into dishes to serve.
Cooks’ note: Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.

My mouth started watering as soon as I saw this gorgeous meal – even though I don’t generally like mushy bread, it seemed like this would overcome the squish-factor with loads of creamy, cheesy goodness!  My mind automatically started thinking about the possibility of a baked pasta variation (grown-up mac & cheese, anyone?), but I thought we’d try the recipe (almost) as-is first.

The Verdict:

It exploded!  Okay – the squash itself didn’t explode.  But the filling did expand so rapidly that the “lid” flew off the top of the squash – it didn’t fall off the side; it was thrown off & cleared the baking dish the squash was in.  It landed on the bottom of the oven, on top of an element, and was fully burned.


The insides were good.  They were cheesy & creamy and the bread was not squishy – it mixed in with the squash and cheese and goodness and was nothing like the bread pudding I had invisioned.  As we were eating, I was thinking that this would be a delicous filling for ravioli.  I also would like to try such a thing again with sausage.  We’re going to attempt a variation of this recipe in the acorn squash that we have.


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