I’ve had a Kabocha squash sitting on my counter for over a week. Every day I have looked at it and passed it over for other starchy substitutes. A few times, lack of time to roast it prevented me from using it. After all, it is so quick to microwave a sweet potato. One day I passed it over to use up gold potatoes that I had. Those poor potatoes were starting to have growth from the eyes that would soon become a garden. I had an emergency “use up those potatoes now” on my hands. So the fact that the poor Kabocha sat around waiting on the counter was not due to lack of love for it. It just got prioritized down the list. My plan for dinner in the morning was meatloaf. I took out 1 pound each of ground pork and ground beef and 1 1/2 pounds of ground bison from the freezer and set it on the counter to thaw. Yes, this was to be a mammoth meat loaf and I already had plans for the leftovers. But that is where the planning stopped. A few hours later, I walked by and saw that it was thawed and put it into the fridge. Along came time to make dinner and the Kabocha was staring at me. My mind immediately went to mashed since mashed potatoes and meatloaf is such a comfort food for me. The common recipe of sprinkling cinnamon with or without honey didn’t appeal to me. Kabocha squash already tastes sweet to me and adding cinnamon and sugar didn’t seem to go with the savory flavor of meatloaf. I started thinking savory and came up with this simple recipe.
Savory Mashed Kabocha Squash
- 1 large Kabocha squash
- 2 tablespoons EVOO or oil of choice
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon white truffle oil
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (omit for AIP)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut the stem out of the Kabocha squash just the same way you cut the lid for a jack-o-lantern at Halloween. Slice it in half, top to bottom. Remove the seeds and fibrous strings with a spoon. Slice each half in half again and then into 1-inch slices. Place in a bowl with the EVOO and salt. Coat all surfaces of the squash. Place the slices on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn slices over and bake for 20 more minutes. Let slices cool enough to be able to peel the green rind with a vegetable slicer or sharp knife. Place the flesh in a 3 quart heavy bottomed pot. Add the truffle oil, sage and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend the squash until it is smooth. If needed, add a couple of tablespoons of water (or chicken stock) to obtain a fluffy consistency. Place the pot on low heat and, stirring frequently, reheat it.
This turned out to be the perfect side dish for Savory Meatloaf. (not AIP)