I’m really excited about the Fall season (Halloween is around the corner), and I anticipate it with so much foodie excitement every year. The seasonal produce is versatile and perfect for robust soups and vegetable gratins.
Best of all… winter squash is back! I just discovered the Hidatsa variety: it’s super sweet and hearty like pumpkin. Although the name sounds pretty fancy, it’s easily found at the local farmers market.
This dish is hearty enough to eat for dinner, or could be a great side dish as well. Clearly I’m ready for Thanksgiving.
Roasted Hidatsa Squash with Wilted Spinach & Toasted Pine Nuts
You will need:
1 small to medium Hidatsa squash; halved and seeded (you could also save the seeds and toast them)
4 cups loose organic spinach
1 red cippolini onion; thinly chopped and caramelized
1/4 cup pure grade A male syrup
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 can red organic kidney beans (optional; you could also use giant white beans)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Using a heavy-duty, large chef’s knife, halve the Hidatsa squash and discard the seeds and threads.
2. Place squash halves on lined baking sheet, cut-side up. Drizzle maple syrup and olive oil in each squash half, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven* and set aside to cool. *reserve the remaining maple glaze and transfer to separate bowl with toasted pine nuts.
3. Caramelize the onions by preheating a heavy-bottomed pan using medium heat. Add olive oil, heat for another minute add onions. Stir, and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to stir and cook onions until lightly browned or crispy (depending on your preference), about 20 minutes. Add spinach, stir and continue to cook another three to five minutes, or until wilted.
4. When squash is cool, peel using pairing knife and roughly chop. Combine squash and spinach mixture and serve. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and remaining maple glaze. Add beans if desired (great way to add protein) and drizzle seasoned rice vinegar to taste. Voila: a cozy, warm winter salad. Enjoy!