Roasted + Stuffed Delicata Squash with Adzuki Beans and Kale
1 delicata squash, halved and seeds removed
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups red kale, de-stemmed, rinsed and torn into small pieces
1/4 cup chunky almond meal (pulse a handful of raw almonds in your food processor)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup adzuki beans, cooked
2 tablespoons bean cooking water or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
salt, to taste
5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush the squash with olive oil and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. When you can handle the squash, scoop a little of the flesh out of each half to make larger boats for the filling. Reserve the scooped out squash.
2. While the squash is roasting, heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and shallots and cook slowly so that they caramelize a bit. I don't mean brown the onions, I mean cook them low and slow so that they get nice and sweet (about 10 minutes). Add the red pepper and hot pepper, and cook for another couple of minutes until soft. Add the kale and allow it to gently wilt. Stir in the almond meal, nutritional yeast, and tomato paste.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked adzuki beans, the cooking water and the orange zest. In a small, covered frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the fennel seeds and mustard seeds. Remove from the heat when you hear the seeds start to pop. Stir the oil and the whole spices into the filling with the scooped out squash. Taste for salt (I didn't need any).
4. Mound the filling evenly into the squash halves. Decorate the tops with the halved tomatoes, face down. Place the squash back into the oven for 15 minutes. When the squash is done cooking, allow it to settle for a couple of minutes before serving as it will be very hot.
Delicata squash are perhaps my favorite of all squashes. I am always saddened by how short their little season is. Delicatas are magical little babies-- Their skin is edible (and delicious) when roasted, they're small (i.e. single person sized), and they have an incredible nutty, sweet flavor that really doesn't need any bells or whistles. Seriously, I'm usually hard pressed to season mine with anything beyond salt and pepper.
Source of recipe: Today was long and arduous. So, when I got home I wished, as usual that there was an elf who would come tidy up while I was out so I wouldn't have to come home to my "I'm too busy to clean" mess, and then looked in the fridge and examined the array of veggies that had come home from my hangover trip to Whole Foods. The answer to my growling stomach and malaise was there: Kale, adzukis, red pepper...From nothing, a recipe took form. And, it was delicious. Usually I make something a couple times before I share the recipe. I like to tweak and perfect...But, I don't think that I could improve upon this one. I'm happy that I took notes while the magic was happening, I think that this a meal I'll be repeating time and again.