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Fig-Carrot Stuffed Kabocha Squash Recipe

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
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 45 min. YIELD:4 servings

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

  • 1. Wash squash; cut into four wedges. Remove loose fibers and seeds from the inside and discard.
  • 2. In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, combine the fennel seed, fenugreek, pepper, nutmeg and cloves; grind until seeds are crushed.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. Fill squash with stuffing. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

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.