It’s “officially” fall. We’ve turned the clocks back and its dark way too early. I wish I could say that there’s a chill in the air, but here in southern California it still feels like the middle of August. Despite the temperature, I’m embracing autumn and cooking with the incredible cool weather vegetables that are showing up at the farmers market.
This exquisite kabocha squash had been sitting on my counter for a few days when I remembered a recipe for a stuffed pumpkin I had torn out of Gourmet last November. Crispy french bread croutons layered with cream and shredded gruyere and emmental cheeses couldn’t be anything but delicious!
Roast Squash with Cheese “Fondue”
1 small baguette cut into 1/2″ slices (about 7 oz.)
1 (6 lb.) pumpkin or kabocha squash
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 oz. grated gruyere
6 oz. grated emmental
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with rack in lower third of oven. Toast baguette slices on baking sheet until tops are crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool. Lower oven to 400 degrees.
Remove top of squash by cutting a circle around stem. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside with a spoon. Season inside with salt.
Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Mix in cheeses in another bowl. Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of squash, then cover with about a cup of cheese and then top with 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering until the squash is filled to about 1/2″ from top. You may have some bread and cheese left over.
Cover squash with top. Put in an oiled roasting pan and brush outside of squash with olive oil. Bake until squash is tender, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Cool slightly, slice into wedges and enjoy! Serves: 8
Take a look at a similar recipe that I tried last year that uses mascarpone cheese and sauteed mushrooms in the filling.