very basic hokkaido pumpkin

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Imagine: There are these wonderful pumpkins all around you in your trusted food store – just buy a small Hokkaido pumpkin & tonight’s dinner is almost ready! Trust me: it’s easier & faster than you think…

Last year I wrote about pumpkin & posted a recipe for a large rich pumpkin casserole filling up a lot of people. Today I start w/ a small Hokkaido pumpkin transformed in a dish for 2 (or max a small side dish for 4).




Yes – we need a rather large casserole, but the casserole is only bottom covering. The pumpkin slices are not piled… (& shouldn’t piled!).

We start w/ a small Hokkaido (I recapitulate… I know) which we manage to cut into slices.




Further ingredients are:

  • spring onions
  • bacon
  • olive oil & balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper

…and – this is optional! – fresh thyme (I happened to have on my window sill!).

Here is – once again – our small Hokkaido: mine was 700 gr. If you are aiming at a dinner for 2 that’s about the size you should look for – the range 600 – 800 gr is just fine!





After having removed the stem & the seeds & the fibres (just scrape w/ a small spoon!) it’s possible to cut the Hokkaido – now about 450 gr – in slices. Well: it’s not soooo easy – the Hokkaido is very hard, but manageable…


For the record:
After the cleaning of a Hokkaido the Hokkaido (a small one!) has lost about 30% of its starting weight.





Now we chop the spring onions & the bacon & mix them w/ the olive oil & the balsamic vinegar in a casserole. Any optional ingredients will follow: same procedure – no exceptions.

Finally we layer the Hokkaido slices on top & put the casserole in the preheated oven (160 degrees C w/ fan).


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30 min in the oven are more than enough for softening & cooking the Hokkaido.





very basic hokkaido pumpkin

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 2-4

very basic hokkaido pumpkin

Imagine: There are these wonderful pumpkins all around you in your trusted food store - just buy a small Hokkaido pumpkin & tonight's dinner is almost ready! Trust me: it's easier & faster than you think...


  • 1 small Hokkaido pumpkin (about 700 gr)
  • 6-7 spring onions
  • 50 gr bacon
  • 2+1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • optional:
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh thyme or basil or oregano or a mix of fresh or dried Mediterranean herbs (chopped)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (pressed)
  • 1 chili (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • kitchen equipment:
  • a casserole (32 cm)

How to...

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C w/ fan.
  2. Clean the Hokkaido pumpkin of stem & seeds & fibres (resulting in about 450 gr).
  3. Cut the Hokkaido in slices.
  4. Chop the spring onions & the bacon.
  5. Mix spring onions & bacon in a casserole.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar & 2 tbsp olive oil & mix.
  7. Add salt & pepper.
  8. optional: add optional ingredients & mix.
  9. Layer the pumpkin slices on top.
  10. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the pumpkin slices.
  11. Put the casserole in the preheated oven for about 30 min.
  12. The pumpkin slices will be rather soft afterwards - be careful when serving!


Hokkaido pumpkin: You don't need to peel a Hokkaido pumpkin. Discarding the stem & the seeds & the fibres means losing about 30% of the weight. A small Hokkaido may be 600 - 800 gr from the start.

Optional Ingredients: You may add all of them to get some hot, garlicky, Mediterranean flavour OR only part of them to remember your last Mediterranean holiday. You may emphasize the "hotness" or the herbal impact - as you like it!

It's a main dish for 2 people or a side dish for 4 people.

Leftovers may be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days (tends to get soggy!) OR just freeze it.


(information on kitchen equipment)




Hokkaido pumpkin is

  • easy & fast to process,
  • a basic flavour by bacon & spring onions is sufficient to enhance the rather tender flavour of pumpkin…
  • … & there is always the possibility to add more/different flavours.

When I did this Hokkaido for some weeknight dinner we had just the roasted Hokkaido, fresh French bread w/ some butter & sour cream: it was delicious! (No leftovers!)

I experienced that Mediterranean herbs – if fresh, if dried – are great w/ Hokkaido. The choice “fresh or dried” is mainly on availability: if it’s in season usually some pots w/ herbs are sitting on my window sill waiting to be cut for a proper dish. Which herbs? It depends also on availability – each herb has its special flavour, but all of them combine fine w/ Hokkaido. … and after-season: I rely on dried herbs!

The pumpkin casserole of my earlier post starts w/ a big Hokkaido & additional cheese etc.: it’s a really rich casserole that’s fine for any dinner event w/ up to 6 people (…even then you’ll have some leftovers!). However, pumpkin doesn’t need a lot of richness & small pumpkins may be the right choice for a light weeknight dinner.


The businesswoman with too many office hours thinks

If the time needed as said in the recipe is correct it’s fine w/ me. I can prepare a “small” Hokkaido within 45 min – that’s more than fine. French bread, Italian bread… will always go!

Well: when buying the Hokkaido I’ll have to check its weight: it’s always a fix price for a Hokkaido so you tend to grab the biggest available…



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