No need to peel the Black Futsu Squash before roasting. Enjoy it’s nutty flavor with warm lentils and herby salsa verde. Save this one as a vegetarian side dish for the holidays, or as a special lunch just for you.
Growing winter squash in the garden
You may have struggled with squash vine borers destroying your beautiful winter squash before they had a chance to fully ripen. One day the leaves are bright green and pointed towards the sun, and the next day they’re deflated and wilting. Bummer! I say instead of fighting with nature, choose a variety that won’t be bothered by those pests. Enter, black futsu.
This year I did a trial in my garden and planted a black futsu along with a buttercup burgess variety. The only one that made it through squash vine borer season was the black futsu. Plus, it produced six squash from just one plant.
More reasons to love black futsu squash:
Consider growing these for their texture, aesthetics and of course taste. Keep them around for autumn decoration and then devour them for Thanksgiving.
- You can eat the skin: The skin of black futsu is totally edible so there’s no need to spend time peeling before cooking.
- Easy to grow & productive: This year I harvested six squash from just one plant in the garden. That’s a pretty great ROI per square foot!
- Both edible & ornamental: Listen, they’re just the cutest. They’re ready to harvest when the skin turns from shiny to matte and will continue to change colors as they ripen in storage. They’re a gorgeous blend of blue/green/pink/purple/grey.
A Japanese pumpkin delicacy paired with salsa verde
Black Futsu is a Japanese heirloom pumpkin variety that really couldn’t be more beautiful. When homegrown, they ripen early and make for an attractive autumnal centerpiece, as well as a delicious vegetarian salad.
The salsa verde in this recipe is from Botanica Mag. It’s the perfect salsa verde recipe and deserved to be highlighted in this dish.
Questions about Black Futsu Squash:
Most would describe the flavor of black futsu squash as nutty and sweet, both raw and roasted.
Yes. The skin of black futsu squash is totally edible.
Plant black futsu outside after all danger of frost has passed. They can be grown vertically on a trellis or left to sprawl on the ground.
Black futsu pumpkin are ready to harvest when the skin has turned from shiny to matte. They may be anywhere from matte green to pink and orange. They will continue to ripen and change colors in storage.
Additions and substitutions:
- If you can’t find Black Futsu at the store or farmer’s market, try using Delicata or Kabocha squash. Both have edible skin like Black Futsu.
- Make it vegan by swapping out the feta for toasted walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Using rice, farro or even sourdough toast would make a great substitute for the lentils.
- Add extra protein with a filet of salmon on top.
- Be extra and make your own chili flakes to pair the sweet with spicy.
Roasted Black Futsu Squash with Salsa Verde and Lentils
- 1 black futsu squash
- 1 cup black lentils or french lentils
- 2 cups water
- feta cheese as garnish
Botanica's Caper Salsa Verde
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1.5 cups olive oil
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch red chili flakes optional
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash and dry the black futsu squash and chop in half. Discard the stem. Remove the seeds if you like and chop into 1/4 inch slices. No need to peel, the skin is edible.
- Roast the black futsu squash with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt for about 20-25 minutes until soft and slightly brown.
- While the squash is roasting cook the lentils.
- Combine lentils and water and cook over medium heat until lentils have absorbed the water, around 20 minutes.
- Make the salsa verde. In a medium bowl combine the minced shallot, sherry vinegar and salt.
- Finely chop cilantro and parsley (tender stems are fine to include). Add to the bowl with the rest of the salsa verde ingredients.
- *Note: Salsa verde can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
- Assemble the dish. Layer black lentils, roasted squash, salsa verde and crumbled feta cheese. Best served warm but also just fine room temp.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @growingwithgertie on Instagram.
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