No Time Comfort Food: Super Easy Kabocha Squash Recipe

easy vegetable side dish

Have I told you I have a new job? I’m super excited about joining the team of Milo + Olive, a wonderful little pizzeria and bakery that’s just opened up in Santa Monica, as a General Manager. Getting to be part of a family of restaurants like Huckleberry, Rustic Canyon, and Sweet Rose Creamery is a dream come true. So I’ve put the freelance service coaching business on hold so I can help run a growing business that’s dedicated to beautiful, handmade food that’s served by people who really care.

Let me just tell you, I’m more than a little bit busy. Working at a brand new restaurant is like caring for an infant. It requires constant vigilance. The hours are long but the work is incredibly fulfilling. The challenges keep my heart, body, and mind constantly engaged and stretched to the limit. I survive on very little sleep and even less time for food. I power myself through the day with huge dose of excitement, a thick piece of toast slathered with almond butter and jelly, and tall cups of coffee.

Since I only have had one day off a week, the one thing I crave more than anything else is rest and a warm meal with my husband. We keep things simple. For breakfast we like to sauté kale in olive oil with a generous splash of fish sauce and top them with a couple of fried eggs. Or I’ll make soft-curd scrambled eggs with feta while he puts together a citrusy-yogurt vinaigrette for a butter lettuce salad. We brew a big pot of coffee, sit at our tucked-in-the-corner dining room table, and fortify ourselves with food and stories of our week.

Exhaustion dictates the menu at dinner time. Sometimes we go out for a comforting bowl of soup and noodles at our favorite Thai restaurant (Pa Ord) or other nights I muster up the power to roast a chicken and some vegetables. Those meals together refuel so much more than my belly. Since I’ve written here before about my favorite method of roasting a chicken (a la Zuni Café), I thought I would share with you my favorite new comfort food that doesn’t take much time or effort to make.

Super Easy Roasted Kabocha

If you have a super loud timer, you can take a nap while this squash roasts. Just slice the thing in half, add some butter, and roast for a little more than a half hour. It’s just that simple.

1 Kabocha
4 tablespoons butter (I prefer Plugra)
3-4 sage leaves
Finishing salt

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Slice the pumpkin open (horizontally across). Remove the seeds. Place on a sheet tray slice side up. Add a generous pat of Plugra butter (about 2 tablespoons per side) and few sage leaves. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until soft.

Serve warm. Finish with Maldon sea salt.


Recent Posts

Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. On long busy days, I am an advocate for simple and hearty meals like this roasted kabocha. Thanks for sharing and congrats on this incredible new adventure of yours!

  2. January 11

    Love this simple mix of flavors together with the no fuss prep – and congrats on Milo and Olive – can’t wait to come and visit.

  3. Hot Pink Manolos
    January 11

    Oh I totally understand the opening of new restaurants and the amount of work it requires being a general manager!!! You are a stronger person than I for cooking your meals on your time off! Mostly when I had days off I just slept!! 🙂

    Congratulations btw on your new job!! 🙂

  4. January 12

    I want to come visit! Milo and Olive sounds fabulous! Congrats!

  5. Brooke, it is wonderful to hear how happy & busy you are. Eating healthy food like this is a sure way to keep you energized! Love this simple preparation for squash. We all need to visit you at Milo + Olive 🙂

    • January 12

      Thanks, Marla! I’m psyched about the job. Looking forward to having a little time to cook, be at home, and see my gal pals someday soon!

  6. January 12

    Brooke, so happy to hear you’re loving Milo + Olive. I agree with Marla that we’re going to have to come visit! Thanks for sharing this simple recipe — roasted squash is one of my favorite comfort foods.

  7. So basic and so amazing–one of the best things about real, seasonal food. This is one of my favorite go-to’s. Congrats on the new job!

  8. Rob Johnson
    January 18

    Looks awesome, i’m sure it’s got a great taste and mouthfeel, thanks for this!

  9. January 20

    kabocha is one of my all time favorites in the squash family. when I was macrobiotic(yes-the baking junkie was macrobiotic in the 90’s), I would slice it thin, sprinkle a bit of sesame oil over it and then dust it with ground sesame seeds. roast it slow and when they came out of the oven they were so delicious. most nights they didn’t make it to the dinner table(along side a piece of roasted salmon), cuz we ate them right off of the baking sheet! So happy for your new adventure, Brooke. Nothing beats security, coupled with a powerhouse corp – your learning is just beginning. Milo + Olive is in the calendar for next weekend’s family night out. Maybe we will be lucky enough to see your smiling face when we walk in through the door!!!

  10. January 22

    Thank you for this delicius recipe! Since last fall Kabocha squash became our favorite, and love that you use Maldon Sea Salt..
    Cheers 🙂

  11. Congrats on the new job. It would kill me to work in a pizzeria, that is so my favorite food.

  12. […] their employees meal breaks. The fact remains that sometimes we restaurant folk get really, really, busy and we just can’t take the time to eat even a bite of food. The more I work in restaurants, […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *