Thursday, October 25, 2012

These Days

Life is hectic these days… having a full time teaching job, a marathon of parent meetings after school, physical therapy appointments for my shoulder, squeezing in time for workouts, carving out a good 30 minutes for shoulder strengthening exercises every single night, and weekend trips to Portland to see my family, leave me with just barely enough time to cook or bake.

DFJ has been really sweet and has taken on cooking for us and doing dishes and all those other things that I just have no energy left for. So the other night, I offered to make dinner. However, he ended up doing the biggest part of the job that my broken shoulder, scrawny arms, and short height would not allow me to do… cutting open this Kabocha squash.

I had great big plans of making soup, but after we got home from the gym, I couldn’t muster up the brain power needed to come up with a good recipe. Furthermore, I did not have any patience for chopping and peeling an entire Kabocha squash into cubes. After a very small part was cut into cubes, I gave up and just proceeded to slice another small part into big Cs. The cubes went into a delicious soup that I just threw together and because it was so good, I recreated it last night (recipe share for the soup will be on the next post).

The few squash slices were tossed with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roasted in the oven for a couple of minutes. They barely made it on top of this delightful open face sandwich because all I wanted to do was eat them right off the pan. Kabocha squash has a sweet flavor and is earthy and rich, reminiscent of sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The roasted slices turned slightly crispy on the bottom but remained tender on top and were so good! They reminded me of sweet potato fries.

This fall sandwich is more of an idea rather than a precise step by step recipe. I used Fontina cheese but also encourage you to try different kinds: Brie, Gruyere, goat cheese, or maybe some sharp cheddar would be good. Add some fresh herbs too, if you want, perhaps some sage or basil. It is key to use good bread... sourdough, French bread, Pugliese, whatever you pick, make sure it's good quality. Life is too short to eat crappy bread! I got these gorgeous baguettes from Ken's Artisan Bakery when I was in Portland this weekend. That bakery is just lovely!

I love the savory and sweet flavors of this sandwich. The mild and creamy melted Fontina cheese, flavorful Kabocha squash, and sweet and juicy pear slices rounded up the sandwich beautifully. This is the kind of sandwich that will make you smile and think of all the simple things that give you pleasure…      


Kabocha, Pear, Fontina Sandwich

a small section of a Kabocha squash
olive oil
pepper, freshly ground
good baguette
pear, sliced thinly
Fontina cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut a quarter off from an entire squash. Slice that section into Cs about 1/8 of an inch thick. Toss the slices with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-18 minutes until the bottoms are slightly browned.

Cut 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices of bread. Lay the cheese and then the pear slices on top of the bread pieces and place in the oven. Bake for a few minutes, about 5 or so just until the cheese melts. Top with the roasted squash and serve warm.

Eat the sandwich in front of your favorite show and just enjoy your evening!


  1. Perfect after a hectic day for a light dinner!Hang in there!

  2. Girl I'm so sorry to hear about your shoulder! But I'm LOVING this meal!

  3. You're always the busy one. Hope you feel better soon!
    But this sandwich, holy moly it looks good. And it is so true. I have had far too much experience eating crappy bread. It truly does make all the difference


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