These savory sweet maple-roasted kabocha squash wedges are served with a dollop of creamy ricotta cheese, drizzles of maple syrup and chili oil, and flaky sea salt.
I’m trying to do some peak fall things this weekend. Hayrides, cider, and the like. In the kitchen, I’m also trying to catch the moment. While I haven’t made a single apple dessert, I have been enjoying a bounty of fall vegetables. If you’ve read about the butternut squash reserves I’ve amassed from my garden (15 and counting!), you’d probably expect that I wouldn’t be paying money for a different kind of winter squash. But sometimes only kabocha squash will do, as is the case with these maple-roasted kabocha squash wedges with ricotta and chili oil.
Kabocha has long been one of my fall go-to’s. It’s the base for my “pumpkin” pie recipe and an ingredient I often cook with in its pureed form. But this year, I’ve enjoyed roasting kabocha wedges and serving them as a side or adding them to ramen and other noodle dishes.
Kabocha squash come in orange and green varieties. I find the orange ones have a tighter, silkier texture, while green ones tend to be more firm with a slightly grainier texture. But both are well suited to roasting. Roasting them unpeeled will help them maintain their shape and structure, but they’re very easy to peel and roast too, so do whichever you prefer.
Maple-Roasted Kabocha Wedges
To make this recipe, peel and seed a medium-sized green kabocha and cut it into 1-inch wedges. Next, toss the wedges with olive oil, maple syrup, paprika, pepper, and sea salt. Since the maple syrup tends to caramelize and then burn in the oven, I highly recommend roasting the squash on a sheet of parchment. As they roast, the squash will get quite soft, and then crisp up right at the end. Use a spatula to flip them halfway through the roast so they keep their shape, and keep a close eye toward the end of the cook time to make sure they don’t burn.
While the squash roasts, make the chili oil. For this recipe, I kept my chili oil simple – just a mix of red and gochugaru chili flakes, sea salt, and black sesame seeds. I reduced Lisa Lin’s excellent recipe by half and omitted the ginger.
Once the squash are roasted through, spoon a dollop of ricotta cheese onto each plate, drizzle with chili oil and sea salt, add the squash wedges, and finish with more chili oil, a drizzle of maple syrup, and fresh chives and thyme.
- 1 medium kabocha squash, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons red chili flakes
- 2 ½ tablespoons gochugaru chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- Chili oil
- Maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons each minced chives and thyme leaves
- Flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving an inch of overhang.
On a large cutting board, slice off any woody stems, and then slice squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Slice into 1-inch thick wedges.
In a large mixing bowl, toss squash with olive oil, maple syrup, paprika, pepper, and sea salt. Arrange on prepared baking sheet cut side down.
Flipping halfway through, roast squash 35 - 40 minutes total, or until squash are fork tender with crisp, golden edges.
Meanwhile, make the chili oil. I halved Lisa Lin’s recipe, omitted the ginger, and added 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds. Set aside to cool.
When squash are ready, add ¼ cup ricotta to each plate. Add a drizzle of chili oil and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Tuck the squash around the ricotta and drizzle with more chili oil, a touch of maple syrup, fresh herbs, and another pinch of sea salt. Serve right away.