Stephanie Anderson

What to do with a red kuri

Stephanie Anderson

I am a big fan of all the gourds. Incredibly versatile and nutritious. I have fond memories of childhood when mom roasted acorn squash then twice baked it adding butter and cinnamon before hitting it with the broiler.  Not exactly what you'd expect in a Miami home where it never gets quite cold enough to want comfort food but mom isn't a Florida native.  Growing up on a farm she knew all to well how to cook any fresh vegetable beautifully.

Hacking into some of these gourds is not for the meek.  It takes a strong knife and an even stronger arm. I tried my strong arm at a red kuri squash this week. It was a first for me. 

  

It peels easily enough with a vegetable peeler despite its pumpkin appearance.  I won't lie, it took some strong arming to get the knife through it.  If you work out for no other reason do it so you can be the master of your produce!  Once opened it has a deep soft cavity much like an acorn squash.  

red kuri interior

I gave it a taste raw to see if that would give anything away. Much like the nose of an old world wine I got nothing!   Into a roasting pan it went along with some traveling companions named kosher salt and olive oil.    I do not like to roast with black pepper as 1. it can burn and 2. if you're going to make a puree as I am here the pepper can make it look dirty. I used white pepper in the finish for vanity sake. That's just me.  


40 minutes later my kuri is tender and ready to be manipulated into a puree. The life of this squash will be spent in a risotto.   It has a very mild slightly sweet taste as all the gourds do.  This one is reminiscent of a chestnut flavor without the mealy texture.    

The mild flavor demanded some other flavors to bring it out. Into the risotto went thyme, nutmeg and yes, chopped green apple.  I even finished it with a touch of honey and parmeasan. It worked beautifully.