Roasting enhances the sweet, mellow flavors of many vegetables, and kabocha squash is no exception. The biggest challenge in this recipe is cutting through the hard skin of the squash: Make sure you place it on a flat non-skid surface and use a very sharp knife. Rather than attempting to halve the uncooked squash, I decided to cut out the stem by cutting around it about 1 1/2" from the stem to create a "lid" that I lifted off using the stem as a "handle." I then used a large spoon to scoop out the seeds from inside the squash including the flesh side of the lid. The rest of the recipe is below:
1 kabocha squash (3 to 5 lbs)
Dried herbs of your choice (Italian herb blend or herbs de Provence work well)
Salt & pepper to taste
3-5 slices bacon (depending on size of squash)
1 onion (choose size based on size of the squash)
2-4 cloves garlic
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut out the stem of the squash as described above, reserving the "lid" and removing any seeds attached to it. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from inside the squash (reserve for roasting if you wish). Use your fingers or a kitchen brush to lightly coat the interior of the squash and lid with olive oil. Sprinkle the inside of the squash with herbs, salt and pepper to taste, then replace the squash "lid." Lightly grease the bottom of a baking pan or casserole dish with olive oil (I used a square glass baking dish just large enough to hold the squash). Place the squash in the dish and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes or until the interior of the squash is fork-tender (the outside will yield slightly to pressure).
Once the squash is done, remove from oven, lift off the "lid" and scrape off the cooked flesh from the "lid" into the skillet, stirring it into the onions, garlic and bacon. Spoon this filling into the squash and replace the "lid." Let the stuffed squash sit for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors of the filling to infuse the flesh of the squash.
When ready to serve, remove and discard the squash "lid" and carefully cut the squash into halves or quarters to serve (spoon any spilled filling over the served squash).