Fall and winter are perfect times to have the highly versatile squash, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it in the spring, since there are many varieties available all year ‘round.

One of my favorites is the Kabocha. I also enjoy modifying sauces with my favorite flavors. In this recipe for Roasted Kabocha Squash with Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto, I’ve substituted pumpkin seeds for the typical pine nuts in the pesto.

Serves 4.


1 Kabocha squash, seeded and lightly peeled

2 fl. oz. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

Remove any rough spots from the squash. The skin is edible, so don’t worry about removing all of it. Split in half and remove seeds. Cut into 1-inch wide wedges. Toss with the oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until fork-tender.


8 oz. dino kale, de-ribbed and roughly chopped

2 cups Italian parsley leaves

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted and unsalted

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp. kosher salt

6 fl. oz. extra virgin olive oil

Combine kale, parsley, garlic, lemon juice and zest, pumpkin seeds, pepper flakes, salt and black pepper into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Keep blades running and slowly pour in the olive oil. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Drizzle pesto over roasted squash and enjoy.

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About The Author

Barbara Wilder Pearlman's picture

evōx Executive Chef Barbara Wilder Pearlman believes in sharing her passion and connecting with people through food. After 15 years as a hair and makeup artist in the entertainment industry, she followed that passion and attended the Cordon Bleu culinary school, graduating at the top of her class. Following graduation, she worked in a Michelin-starred restaurant and a Malibu treatment center, and then started her own catering company. Later, she joined the Whole Foods team, researching and developing recipes, launching healthy eating venues and catering events. Culturally eclectic cuisine is Barbara’s style, and she loves to use a diverse combination of flavor profiles. With experience in many techniques and an affinity for a variety of ingredients from around the world, Barbara’s creations range from vegan, vegetarian and other special diets to handcrafted charcuterie, cheese and preserves. Whether it’s staying true to the cultural integrity of a dish or mixing it up with fusion, she appreciates food that inspires creativity.

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