Roasted Japanese Pumpkin

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, soy-free, sugar-free

Somewhere, probably in a box of photos stuffed in an attic, there is a picture of two-year-old Desi dressed up like a pumpkin.  And she is sobbing hysterically.

If I could go back in time and talk to my two-year-old self in that moment, the conversation would go something like this:

Older self: “Hey, calm down.  There is no reason for you to be this upset.”

Mini me: “But they dressed me up like a pumpkin for Halloween, and I wanted to be Barbara Eden.”

OS: “Don’t worry, you’ll be ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ in a few years.”

MM: “How do you know?”

OS: “Because I am from the future.”

MM: “Oh, okay.  But still, I am so rotund and uncomfortable.  I can hardly move, and I’ve only been walking for twelve months as it is.”

OS: “It doesn’t matter because you’ll be held most of the time anyway.”

MM: “That is probably right.”

OS: “Plus, you don’t know it yet, but in twenty years, pumpkin is going to be your favorite vegetable ever.”

MM: “What is this, you say?!”

OS: “You heard me!”

MM: “Blasphemy!  I enjoy broccoli best!”

OS: “No child likes broccoli!  You are the weirdest kid!  Well, not counting your brother.”


And then, just when I would begin to regret my backward time-traveling shenanigan, Daniel Faraday would appear and say, “Time, it is like a stream.  We can move forward on that stream, we can move in reverse, but we cannot ever create a new stream.  If we try to do anything different, we will fail every time.  Whatever happened, happened.”  And then I’d feel better.

But then Daniel would continue,”Des, I need you to go back to Oxford University.  Go back to where we met.  I need you to go there and find my mother.  Her name’s…”  And I’d cut him off, “Daniel.  I’m not Des-mond.  I’m Des-i.  Sorry, man.  Go back to your TV show.  I don’t even know how you got here in the real world.”

And after such overlapping of time, space, and realities, my two-year-old self would start crying again simply out of confusion over what she’d just witnessed, and I’d return to a big bowl of Kabocha squash in 2010 and disencumber my mind with its magical vegetable powers.

This recipe is so ridiculously simple.  I feel silly even calling it a “recipe.”  But hey, when I discover edible bliss, I have no choice but to share it! Same goes for, well, ocular/auditory (maybe?) bliss; if you did not, unfortunately, understand the majority of references in this post, then I suggest you watch the brilliant television show, Lost. Right here.  Right now.  Munch on some kabocha for double contentment.

You’ll cry like a kid in a pumpkin suit because you’ll be wishing you could go back in time to begin such watching and eating sooner.

You’re welcome.

Roasted Japanese Pumpkin (Kabocha Squash)

1 Kabocha Squash

sea salt


grapeseed/coconut oil spray

1) Preheat oven to 400˚

2) Quarter the squash, and then slice in 1/2″-1″ slices.

3) Lay slices out on a cookie cooling rack.

4) Spray slices with grapeseed oil or coconut oil spray.

5) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6) Flip slices over and repeat spray-and-sprinkle process.

7) Place rack in oven and roast for 10-15 minutes (until some pieces of pumpkin brown on the edges, the skin gets tender and flesh gets flaky).

8) Eat as is… or a top an open-faced sandwich featuring these other gems of deliciousness: cinnamon raisin walnut bread, guacamole, goat cheese… nom nom nom…



Filed under Plates

12 responses to “Roasted Japanese Pumpkin

  1. Mmmm Peace Food! You did it yourself! You’re like a mighty genius woman. Also? LOST is awesome and I totally understood every reference in this post, including the photo of yourself (though I still haven’t seen it).

    Also also? I love you.

  2. I want to go to there. This looks amazing! I love sobbing young pumpkin image. Remember when you, your puzzle piece and I had pumpkin in the city!? It was so good!

    • Of course I remember, G! That is what inspired me to figure out how to make it for myself, actually… haha! Also, “I want to go to there?” Possibly my all-time favorite phrase ever spoken on “30 Rock.” :)

      • Ok! So I went to the store in search of Kobocha squash and apparently everyone and their mom read your post because there was a sign that said “Kobocha Squash” and then there was an empty basket underneath it. I was all sad, but then I spied some Acorn Squash and I got one of those instead. I ate it and it was delicious! So, I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but you’ve opened my eyes to the fact that it is squash season and I am pump(kin)ed! (GAWD – that is a terrible pun…kin – I can’t stop!)

      • G! I laughed at each of your “terrible” pun(kin)s, so they could not have been THAT terrible… :D Squash season is the BEST, right?!? Autumn is just the BEST. Period.

  3. I love everything about this post and can’t wait to try this recipe!

  4. LOL Not being a Lost fan I thought you were just very clever with your imagination, so I appreciate that reference in way of explanation from Marian. ;-) I love roasting pumpkin. I didn’t realize that kombucha was called Japanese pumpkin. Thanks for educating me, and this looks delicious! I haven’t see any around yet, but definitely want to try some. :-)


    • LOL, Shirley! And yes, keep an eye out for kabocha! If you’re a fan of squash or regular pumpkin as it is, then kabocha is bound to be your future addiction.. :)

  5. I have not heard of this type of pumpkin before, perhaps we call it something else in Australia. We call squashes pumkin too and make no definition between them. Little round button zuchinnis are the only thing we call a squash.

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