Roasted Delicata Squash with Chickpeas, Potatoes, and Kale
Prepare yourselves: this dish is a strange one.
It’s a weird but unexpectedly good adaptation of a recipe with a weird but unexpectedly good combination of flavors, that just doesn’t look that appealing (in my opinion), and probably doesn’t sound all that appealing either.
I almost didn’t post it.
The original recipe is from the super awesome Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson, and I made it once– with a bunch of substitutions of my own design– and loved it.
The only problem was that it contained miso. A lot of miso. And for someone who loves miso soup, my girlfriend can’t take the strong miso flavor when it come to other things like roasting rubs or marinades…
In retrospect, this wasn’t such a bad problem to have, since it meant I got to eat the whole batch myself! But I think meals always taste better when they’re shared.
So I set about to make a miso-less version of this dish that calls for ¼ cup of miso (and a little dab of red curry paste). And I settled on a combination of tahini and Korean kochuchang (red chili paste) as substitutes. I told you– strange… but trust me.
First, consider my other substitutions, which I was somewhat proud of: the original recipe calls for tofu (I used chickpeas), and kale (I used broccoli the first time I made it), and toasted pepitas (I used sunflower seeds).
By the way, these were all excellent choices, and since then I’ve become increasingly obsessed with the deliciousness and simplicity that is oven-roasted broccoli! But that’s another story…
The tahini/chili paste substitution for miso and curry paste is the one I think is so strange (and not all that elegant looking), but if you like those flavors in general, and bear with me and give it a try, I think you’ll enjoy this dish as much as my girlfriend did, when I told her I’d made it again without miso. (Or stick to Heidi Swanson’s original version and use ¼ cup miso and several teaspoons of red curry paste instead!)
Roasted Delicata Squash with Chickpeas, Potatoes,
Adapted from “Miso-Curry Delicata Squash” in “Super Natural Every Day” by Heidi Swanson.
~ 1 12-16 oz. delicata squash
~ ¼ cup olive oil
~ 2-3 Tbsp. tahini
~ 1½ Tbsp. kochugaru (Korean chili paste)
~ juice of one lemon
~ 1 generous pinch of sea salt
~ 5-10 small red potatoes, halved or quartered
~ 1 can chickpeas (I made mine from dried chickpeas!)
~ ½ bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped, or 1 head broccoli, roughly chopped
~ ⅓ cup sunflower seeds or pepitas, lightly toasted
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the delicata squash in half, then use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Peel the squash (or not!) then slice into half-moons.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, tahini, kochugaru, 1 tsp. of the lemon juice (set aside the rest), and the pinch of salt.
3. In a second (medium-sized) bowl, toss the squash, potatoes, and chickpeas with ⅓ cup of the dressing from the large bowl. Transfer this mixture to the baking sheet and spread out evenly. Roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing the vegetables once or twice during that time.
4. Meanwhile, in the large bowl, add the rest of the fresh lemon juice to what remains of the dressing, and toss the kale (or broccoli) in this sauce. If using broccoli, add the broccoli to the other ingredients on the baking pan when there are only 8-10 minutes left of the roasting time. (If using kale, there’s no need to bake it at all– the dressing will soften the kale.)
5. Once the squash, potatoes, and chickpeas (and perhaps broccoli) are done roasting, pour the roasted vegetables into the kale and gently toss to mix well. (The kale will wilt just a bit and will take on a very nice texture.)
6. Sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds or pepitas and serve warm.