Lemon-Simmered Kabocha Squash

DSC_0174My childhood memories of squash are not fond.  During the winters along the Lower Columbia River, we ate an abundance of squash in all its many forms.  After all, it was cheap, easy to grow, and stored well.  There was, however, this slight problem with monotony..soul crushing monotony.  I was a little surprised, when I got older, that there was more than one way to cook a squash.  And that other people were doing more than baking them with butter and brown sugar.  How was I to know?  I also remember being delighted when I found out that, once I stopped bathing all squash in butter and sugar, that different types of squash taste…different.  Weird.  I never saw that one coming.

Kabocha squash is a great example.  It is a deep green, thin skinned squash commonly used in Japanese dishes; although there it is called a pumpkin.  The flesh is mildly sweet, fine-grained and rich in in flavor.  The skin is delicate enough to eat and, because you leave it on, contributes to some pretty good looking dishes.  For this side dish, we add to these already solid traits by simmering the squash in dashi (Sea Stock) and lemon juice.  The lemon balances out the sweetness of the squash and the dashi brings some fine, smoky overtones. … 

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