ABC Kitchen’s Kabocha Squash Toast

A recipe for the roasted Kabocha Squash Toast from ABC Kitchen in NYC. Now I can make my absolute favorite restaurant dish at home, and it is easy!

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

It is day two of Chez CateyLou’s 1st birthday celebration! Yesterday we had a delicious chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Today, we are returning to where it all began – ChezCateyLou’s very first post on the delicious squash toast at ABC Kitchen here in NYC.  And now, one year later, I am sharing the recipe with you so that you can make this amazing toast at home!  ABC Kitchen’s squash toast is my absolute favorite dish that I’ve had at any restaurant, ever.  I’m literally obsessed and crave it weekly – it is kind of strange. We have been to ABC Kitchen several times this winter just to sit at the bar and eat squash toast.

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

Now I am all about celebrating birthdays, so I’m totally fine with having a two day celebration, but I have to tell you that this was not the original plan. I had been thinking for a long time about how I wanted to celebrate CCL’s birthday, and I thought squash toast would be really fun and would be a nice way to reflect on the past year.

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

So I started a loaf of no-knead bread on Friday night and planned to get up Saturday to buy Kabocha squash and make my toast. I’ve had a hard time finding Kabocha squash in the past, but I’ve never really looked THAT hard. So I figured if I put a little effort into it, I would be able to find this elusive squash. I mean, this is NYC after all – aren’t you supposed to be able to find any food you want?  Well let me tell you, you can’t.  TheBetterHalf and I have had way too many situations like this in the past – where you need a specific ingredient but just can’t find it ANYWHERE (cake flour, Sambal Oelek, and Hershey’s brand chocolate chips all come to mind). I literally went to 2 Whole Foods, 3 grocery stores, 2 specialty markets, and a produce shop. I called a Japanese market, Trader Joes, Fairway, Citerella….no one had Kabocha squash. So I gave up, and baked a cake instead. Not a bad tradeoff, so I was ok with it.

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

But then! After dinner on Saturday night, TheBetterHalf and I were walking around downtown and I made him stop into a random Asian market….and lo and behold, they had a small box of Kabocha squash. I think I actually screamed. I was SO excited. I wanted to buy all five, just because I figured I would never see Kabocha squash again.  TheBetterHalf talked me out of it so I settled on two. Victory.

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

So after all that, how do you make squash toast? The key component is the squash mixture. You roast Kabocha squash with olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. At the same time, you caramelize some onions, and then toward the end of cooking mix in apple cider vinegar and maple syrup (or agave if you have a maple syrup aversion like I do! And yes, I realize that I claim to not like maple syrup and yet am obsessed with squash toast. I can’t explain it.) The smell when you add the vinegar and syrup to the pan of caramelized onions is seriously unreal. TheBetterHalf wants a candle made out of it. Or cologne. Gosh we like food a lot.

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

When the veggies are all cooked, you mix the squash with the onions. That mixture right there is gold. I could eat it plain, and in fact I did eat a lot of it plain!

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

Now for the assembly of the toast. First you take a thick slice of a good, rustic bread and brown it in some olive oil. Spread it with a thin layer of ricotta cheese and then top that with a generous helping of the squash mixture – it should be warm, but not hot. Sprinkle some fresh mint on top and finish with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil, then devour! Yes, there is a lot of olive oil involved in this recipe. There is a reason it tastes so good!

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

So was it worth all of the trouble of finding the squash?  Well to be perfectly honest, I think this would taste just as good with butternut or another type of squash.  The amazing addicting flavor actually comes from the onion mixture, not from the squash.  But I’m still glad I tried the real deal.  And now I will never have to do a search like that again!

ABC Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Toast | chezcateylou.com

Kabocha Squash Toast

Kabocha Squash Toast

A recipe for the roasted Kabocha Squash Toast from ABC Kitchen in NYC. Now I can make my absolute favorite restaurant dish at home, and it is easy!

Ingredients

  • 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound kabocha or other yellow-fleshed squash, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 4 slices country bread, 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Combine the squash, 1/4 cup olive oil, chili flakes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a bowl and toss well.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and cook, stirring every few minutes, until tender and slightly colored, about 15 minutes or a little longer. Remove from the oven.
  4. Meanwhile, heat another 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and remaining teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well softened and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and syrup, stir and continue cooking until the liquid is syrupy and the onions are broken down, about 15 minutes. The mixture should be jammy.
  5. Combine the squash and onions in a bowl and smash with a fork until combined. Taste for seasoning.
  6. Add the remaining oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread and cook until just golden on both sides, about 10 minutes total; drain on paper towels.
  7. Spread cheese on toasts, then top with the squash-onion mixture. Sprinkle with coarse salt and garnish with mint. Drizzle with olive oil.

Notes

Recipe from Jean-Georges Vongerichten via The New York Times

http://chezcateylou.com/abc-kitchens-kabocha-squash-toast/

If you like squash, try these Butternut Squash Potstickers:

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Also, squash toast goes great with this Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup:

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Related posts:

Comments

  1. says

    I’m drooling after reading this! Love the idea of spreading the toast with ricotta first – and so many things taste better with a generous drizzle of olive oil! Well done for finding the Kabocha … I know what it’s like to try to find elusive ingredients after living in Greece for so long!! Feta, olives, red peppers and zucchinis – no problem. But try finding Chipotle paste or fresh coriander and it’s like Mission Impossible! But maybe I too haven’t been trying hard enough 😉

    • says

      Thanks, Helen! It can be so frustrating to find certain ingredients! I remember when I lived in Greece that the stores would just close at random hours, so I’m sure that makes the hunt even harder!!

  2. says

    This looks absolutely incredible. I’m a huge fan of ABC Kitchen… we had such a great meal there last year. And come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had kabocha squash! As soon as my street gets plowed out of this snow, I’m heading to whole foods to see if I can find one! Gotta give this awesome looking recipe a try!

    • says

      Good luck finding the squash! I hope you do because this is SOOO good. And if you can’t find it, at least you can go eat this at ABC Kitchen!

      • euni says

        I do hope you figured out by now that Union Square Greenmarket, one of the biggest ones in the nation, has just about every squash you can imagine…including kabocha! where do you think ABC kitchen buys theirs?? As far as spices, Dual Specialty and SOS chef are always reliable for not-so-common ingredients. :)

  3. says

    Squash toast – now that is creative! And delicious looking! Your photos are amazing in this post, Cate. That roasted squash makes me want to dive in! And then there is the ricotta, mmmm yum, … I’ll never think of toast the same way again!

  4. says

    Squash toast? This is genius! I live in NYC and haven’t heard about ABC kitchen…obviously need to try it asap, this toast sounds amazing. Also, I haven’t had kabocha squash yet, but this is the second time I’ve read about it in two days. You’ve totally hooked me! :)

  5. says

    I’ve never heard of this dish or ABC Kitchen before but it looks and sounds delish! I love how you’re celebrating your 1 year blog-iversary by bringing it back to where it all started. Your photos are gorgeous and it shows how much you’ve improved since last February. :)

    • says

      If you make it into the city, you should definitely try ABC Kitchen – I think you would love it! Delicious food, and such a neat space. And wow – I can’t even believe how much my food photos have improved since February. Buying a real camera was the best thing that happened to Chez CateyLou!

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