The scent of Pumpkin Baked-Goods is swirling in the air again! These charming creations make me jealous because…
… I don’t bake. I’ve concluded that baking freaks me out because:
- I don’t like to measure.
- I need to taste along the way.
- I don’t like the unpredictability.
- It requires more equipment than I want.
- I can’t tell when things are done. (What does a clean toothpick actually look like?)
So here’s my contribution to the pumpkin fun in lieu of my baking ineptness.
Kabocha Chestnut Pom
I had a mad craving for some roasted Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) with savory miso paste. Simplest dinner for one.
I prefer Kabocha over the American variety because the skin is thin and edible. After roasting in the oven, the skin becomes deliciously smoky and nutty so I always choose small, tender ones before the skin toughens.
At the market, I was distracted by juicy, ruby pomegranates and was reminded of a warm salad Chef Anthony made at a dinner party so I gave it a whirl.
The tart pops of the pomegranate seeds added an element of surprise in contrast to the sweet, starchy chestnut. The addition of cinnamon to the Kabocha created a familiar sense of comfort, alongside its blistered skin that triggered memories of a warm fireplace.
The ultimate Autumn side dish.
- 1 small Kabocha
- seeds of 1 pomegranate
- 2 cups chestnuts, shelled
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- olive oil, s&p
Preheat oven to 400°F
Wash the Kabocha well and carefully split into quarters. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rub the quarters, including the skin, with olive oil and s&p.
Place on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a knife pierces through easily. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1 inch cubes.
Sauté the onion in some butter until caramelized.
Add the chestnuts and heat through, followed by the Kabocha, honey, stock, and spices. Toss gently and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Taste and season.
Remove from the heat, add the green onions and one more pat of butter.
Top with pomegranate seeds and serve warm.
Creates 6 side-servings.