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Roasted Kabocha Squash & Grapes
“For this healthy winter squash recipe, we roast grapes in a 450°F oven for a bit to intensify their flavor. We pair them here with kabocha squash, but butternut or acorn would also work. Serve alongside a green salad and roasted chicken for a hearty dinner.”
10 clusters of medium-to-large seedless red grapes (1½ pounds)
3 thyme sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
1 large kabocha squash (about 3 pounds), halved, seeded and cut into 1½-inch-thick wedges (see Tip)
1¼ cups finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Maldon salt for garnish
1Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F.
2Place grape clusters and thyme sprigs on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper. Place squash on a second baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
3Roast the grapes on the upper rack and squash on the lower rack. After 15 minutes, rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back and turn the squash pieces over. Continue roasting until the grapes are burst and are browning and the squash is golden and just tender, 6 to 10 minutes more for the grapes, 10 to 15 minutes more for the squash.
4Sprinkle the squash with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and crispy on the edges, 5 to 7 minutes.
5Scrape the squash and crispy cheese bits onto a serving platter and top with the grapes, the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme leaves and pepitas. Serve drizzled with vinegar, a sprinkle of Maldon salt and more pepper, if desired.
Tips: How to Cut Kabocha
1. Insert the tip of a large chef's knife straight down the center of the squash, starting right next to the top stem. Push the edge of the knife around the squash, rocking the knife a bit to cut completely through one side.
2. Repeat this cut on the other side of the squash until the two halves come apart.
3. Use a spoon to scrape out seeds and pulpy fibers.