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Fig-Carrot Stuffed Kabocha Squash

 Fig-Carrot Stuffed Kabocha Squash
While searching for a new winter squash variety, I stumbled upon kabocha squash—it really wowed me. The flavor and texture are both rich and beautiful, and this recipe, which I improvised, really suits the squash well. —Caitlin Stephens-North, Malden, Massachusetts
4 ServingsPrep: 25 min. Bake: 45 min.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium kabocha squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • STUFFING:
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 fresh or dried figs, cut into eighths
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans

Directions

  • Wash squash; cut into four wedges. Remove loose fibers and seeds from

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Fig-Carrot Stuffed Kabocha Squash (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • the inside and discard.
  • In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, combine the fennel
  • seed, fenugreek, pepper, nutmeg and cloves; grind until seeds are
  • crushed.
  • Brush squash with oil. Sprinkle with salt and 3/4 teaspoon spice
  • mixture. Place in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking sheet.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute carrots and shallots in oil
  • until tender. Stir in the figs, water, salt, cinnamon, pepper,
  • nutmeg, cloves and remaining spice mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce
  • heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until liquid is
  • evaporated and figs are tender. Stir in pecans.
  • Fill squash with stuffing. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated
  • through. Yield: 4 servings.
Editor's Note: Fenugreek is available from Penzeys Spices. Call 800-741-7787 or visit penzeys.com.
Nutritional Facts: 1 stuffed wedge equals 299 calories, 11 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 489 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 13 g fiber, 5 g protein.