Our first cooking class of the season used this week’s varied box ingredients – check out the notes and recipes used below:
Kabocha squash’s exterior reveals traits about its interior: it looks kind of like a pumpkin, and, when roasted, it tastes a bit like pumpkin, too. It’s relatively sweet, very rich and nutty tasting. This complex carb high in beta-carotene was the perfect vessel for a combination of curried earthy farro and leafy kale. We used farro, which I personally am a fan of for it’s quick cooking and high nutritional value, but any kind of grain would do (wild or brown rice or quinoa would work excellently, as well). The dates lend a sweetness that plays well with the curry flavor and brings out the sweeter notes in the squash, while also adding a fun texture. Kale is in there because, darn it, it’s good for us. And it crisps up beautifully when the final stuffed squash goes back in the oven for ten minutes! A note of caution: cutting the squash in half can be a potentially treacherous task, so make sure your cutting board doesn’t slide and you’re carefully working your knife around the squash until you can cut right through the center (and no need to take off the stem!).
Kabocha Squash stuffed with Curried Farro, Kale, and Dates
adapted from Arielle likes to Cook
- 2 kabocha squash, halved and seeded
- ~4 tsp. olive oil
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup farro (cooked according to package instructions)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tbs. curry powder
- 5 dates, chopped
- 5 curly kale leaves, destemmed and chopped (about 3 cups)
- A handful of parsley, chopped for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Cut a small slice out of the side of each squash half so they can lay sturdy facing cut-side up. Rub the flesh of each half with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the flesh is tender.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic and stir for one minute.
- Add the farro and stir to coat in the oil.
- Add the curry powder, dates, and chopped kale, stirring until the kale wilts down.
- Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the squash halves are cooked through, remove them from the oven and carefully turn them over in the pan, so they lay cut-side up.
- Stuff the four halves amply with the farro mixture.
- Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the squash and sprinkle with parsley to garnish. Enjoy!
As a side, we baked the potatoes up with olive oil, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper until they were crispy (about 25 minutes at 375ºF). They were cut into home fry-like shapes, which roast nice and evenly. These potatoes will go very quickly at any social gathering (or as a late night alternative to microwaved french fries).
For a sweet finish to our meal, we brushed our apples with a maple and lemon mix and baked them up until tender. Make sure to scoop out the middle of the apples into a circular shape that the pecans can fit in without falling out. Additionally, you’ll want to chop the pecans to a size where they can fit in the holes in the apples. The pecans bake until crunchy and serve to balance the sweetness of the apples and sauce.
Baked Maple Pecan Apples
- 4 large apples, halved and cored with scooped out holes
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In a small bowl add lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup.
- Lay the apples with the cut side up on a sheet pan and brush with mixture.
- Top with pecans.
- Bake for 20min until apples are tender and toasted.
- Serve warm.
Try out Greens to Grounds’ produce box next week and look out for inspirational recipes that will make eating just that much more delicious.