My dad always grew Hubbard squash when we lived in Minnesota. My sisters and I loved the smooth, sweet flesh, which mom baked and then whipped with butter and cream till it looked like orange mashed potatoes, but with more flavor. Once I began keeping my own home, I began searching the stores for Hubbard squash. Alas, in more than 50 years I never found it in any grocery store or farmer's market. Then came the day I gathered up my courage and complained to a produce manager about the lack of my favorite winter vegetable. He smiled and handed me a kaboacha. "This is as close to a Hubbard as you'll get around here," he said. Reluctantly, I took one of the ugly squashes home, cut it in half, removed the seeds and baked it in the oven. I was hooked.
ROASTED KABOCHA SQUASH
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and lay the squash cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size. This particular squash tends to be dense. It is done when you can pierce the flesh easily with a skewer or a long, thin knife. Be careful not to overcook or the flesh will be too dry.
About 10 minutes before serving, turn the squash over and put 2 Tbs. of brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a light grating of fresh nutmeg into the center well. I always add a bit of butter but you can use vegan margarine if you choose. Return it to the oven long enough to melt the toppings--about 5 minutes. Serves 4.