Roasted Black Futsu with Jasmine-Kale Rice
· One medium black futsu squash, washed, scrubbed, quartered and cut into slices (like apples), skin on
· 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to coat squash
· Salt & pepper
· ½ teaspoon paprika
· ½ teaspoon cinnamon
· ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
· 1 cup jasmine rice or other fragrant variety like basmati
· 1½ cups water
· 2-3 whole cloves
· 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
· 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking with the rice
· ¼ cup golden raisins
· 1½ cups of kale (or arugula or other winter green), finely chopped
· dry toasted pumpkin seeds (from your pumpkin, of course!)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and arrange squash pieces (skin on) in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper. Sprinkle paprika, cinnamon and cayenne on both sides. Transfer to the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the squash has softened, flipping the slices halfway through.
2. Meanwhile, measure the rice and water into a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add cloves, fennel seeds, and olive oil to the rice and water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
3. In a small skillet over low heat, add the (rinsed and dried) pumpkin seeds. These will toast up quickly and can burn if you don’t watch them closely. Stir them often until lightly browned, then remove from the pan and set aside. (Alternatively you can toast them in the oven, but remember to keep an eye on them, and turn often.)
4. When the rice is done, remove pot from heat and quickly stir in the chopped kale and raisins before putting the lid back on. Let sit for up to 5 minutes.
5. Serve rice alongside slices of black futsu and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The squash skins are tender and very edible. You do not need to peel them off.
Why Broccoli Leaves?
Chefs and farmers have been eating broccoli leaves for years—and for good reason. "One serving supplies your daily dose of vitamin C, plenty of antioxidants like vitamins A and K, and the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk," says Ashley Koff, RD, a nutritionist in Washington, DC. Broccoli leaves are versatile and yummy, with a milder flavor than the florets. The leaves taste great in a smoothie; roasted with oil, salt and pepper to make chips; or tossed in a salad.
Simple Broccoli Leaf Sauté
Makes: 2 to 4 servings
1 bunch broccoli leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced or sliced fresh garlic
1 pinch crushed red chili flakes
Trim the broccoli leaf stems where they meet the leaves. Roll the trimmed leaves lengthwise so they resemble a rolled cigar. Holding the roll with one hand, slice the leaves crosswise into thin 1/2-inch-wide strips.
Heat a medium-size nonstick sauté pan or cast-iron skillet. Add the olive oil and heat just until it ripples. Add the garlic; stir and sauté just until it begins to caramelize. Add the broccoli leaf strips and water, cover and steam for 2 minutes. When the broccoli leaves are soft and bright green, season to taste with crushed red chili flakes.