Sweet Dumpling Squash with Harissa, Bitter Greens and Pomegranate
- 1 large or two small Sweet Dumpling Squash, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds and seeded
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 teaspoon Harissa, see recipe below, more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 large bunch bitter greens, such as mustard, kale and escarole or mix of the three, shredded (small leaves fine intact)
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
Heat oven to 425. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with a generous pinch of sea salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Arrange squash on a baking sheet (in more or less a single layer). Roast until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, place half the pistachios in bowl of food processor and grind to a coarse meal. Stop before nuts become butter as they are want to do. Combine ground nuts with Harissa. Whisk in pomegranate molasses and red wine vinegar. Slowly add remaining olive oil, whisking to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper. Combine squash, greens, remaining pistachio nuts and pomegranate seeds in a serving bowl. Dress, adjust seasoning and serve.
- 1 red pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for preserving
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 hot chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 11/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 sea salt
Char pepper under a hot broiler or in open flame of gas burner. Place in a small metal bowl, cover and let sweat until pepper cools and blackened skin easily rubs away. Discard skin and seeds and set aside.
Combine coriander, cumin and caraway seeds in a small skillet and toast over a low flame just until spices smell fragrant, about 2 minutes. Shake pan to prevent burning. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a powder.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over low flame. Add onion, garlic and chiles and sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes. The onions should start to caramelize. Again, stir frequently to prevent scorching. Combine all ingredients, including tomato paste, lemon juice and sea salt in the jar of blender and whiz together until smooth. Transfer paste to a small clean jar. Top with olive oil so that paste is submerged. Keep refrigerated, topping off with more olive oil as needed. Harissa will keep a week or two - although may really only last you a few days once you discover it's versatility. It is wonderful on everything - poached eggs, roast squash, chicken, fish. Experiment!