Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Operation Use Harissa, Phase Two: Miso Harissa Squash and Kale

This recipe had all the makings of amazing: squash, kale, harissa, miso, lemon.  In the end, though, it just wasn't that awesome.  The kale tasted pretty good... but I think the combination of squash and miso was a bit too sweet.  And, were I to do another version of this recipe, I'd toast the squash seeds separately: they didn't get crispy enough while roasting with the squash.

In theory, though, I was pretty pleased with the combination of toasted seeds and squash-proper; using ingredients that add up to a whole plant always feels satisfying, like a word that contains all the possible allophones of one phoneme.  Shit, did I say that out loud?  I just scoop out the seeds, put them in warm water (see right), and then extract them from their gunk.

Miso Harissa Squash and Kale
(adapted from 101cookbooks)

1 acorn squash, seeds removed and reserved
3 TB extra virgin olive oil
3 TB white miso
1 TB harissa paste
3 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400*.  Cut the squash into small arc-like chunks.
2. Whisk together olive oil, miso, and harissa.  Toss squash in this sauce (reserve a bit, though), and cook on baking sheet about 25-30 minutes, stirring a few times during the process.
3. In the meantime, whisk the lemon juice into the remaining miso-harissa oil. Taste, it should be intensely flavorful, but if yours is too spicy or salty, you can dilute it with a bit more olive oil or lemon juice. Stir the kale into the leftover dressing and set aside.
4. Toss the squash seeds in a bit of oil and salt (or more of the harissa oil) and toast them separately (I'd use the toaster oven).  This will only take a few minutes.
5. When everything's done, place the warm roasted squash in a bowl and toss with the kale mixture and seeds. Serves about 4.

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