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I first had this recipe during school lunch at the school I work at in Japan. Even the pickiest of students love this! I asked the nutritionist for the recipe and it soon became a fall and winter staple in my household! It's best with Japanese pumpkin (kabocha), but I imagine that acorn squash or butternut squash would also be delicious!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 3⁄4 cups milk (skim is fine, the dish will be less rich)
- 2 chicken stock cubes, crushed (vegetable stock cubes are also fine)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 large Japanese pumpkin, remove skin and seeds and slice into bite sized chunks
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Place chopped pumpkin in a microwave safe-dish and cover with a wet paper towel. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
- Melt butter in a large pan, add onions and cook over medium heat until transparent.
- Add flour and mix for 15 seconds, slowly add milk, crushed stock cubes and black pepper and cook over medium for 4 minutes.
- Add Japanese pumpkin (kabocha) and stir for five minutes. If desired, add chopped broccoli at this time.
- Pour into a glass casserole dish or gratin dish and bake 25-30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and pumpkin is soft.
- Serve warm with a light salad--this is a very rich dish!