Don’t get me wrong, I love well known types of squash like butternut and acorn. But there’s a whole world of other varieties that I think deserve your love and attention. Red kuri squash was the focus of an entire section in my cookbook. And for good reason – it’s one of absolute favorites in the winter squash family. This glowing orange, tear dropped shaped variety has a savory-sweet, buttery flavor, and the thin skin is edible! Not having to peel is a complete win in my books when it comes to squash.
In this fall hybrid salad recipe (it doesn’t hinge on the greens), the roasted red kuri with its golden flesh is the star, with supporting roles coming from:
a tangle of massaged kale,
a creamy coating of lemon tahini sauce,
crunchy bursts from heirloom marcona almonds,
and a smoky dusting of harissa spice.
When was the last time you used marcona almonds in a recipe? Typically seen on a cheese plate, I sometimes forget about using them in cooking. Known as “the queen of almonds”, they’re shorter, rounder, sweeter, and softer than a typical almond. And when I was recipe testing and found this dish lacking a firm texture component, I reached for the bag of Heirloom Marcona Almonds from Diamond Nuts (they’ve been around since 1912!).
Toasted with a little olive oil and salt, they were just the crunchy addition this dish needed.
I’ll probably make it most often as a side dish for gatherings, but we found it worked as main-course material too! Deceptively filling and satisfying. In fact, we ate it two days in a row for lunch.
To make things easy for entertaining, you can prepare the components a day ahead of time, then toss together up to an hour before serving. Enjoy, and happy squash season!
If you make his Roasted Red Kuri Squash recipe, tag me on Instagram @heartbeetkitchen, or with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen!
- 1 medium sized red kuri squash, seeds removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 head of curly kale, de-stemmed and cut into thin pieces
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon harissa powder (optional, but adds spice!)
- 1/2 cup heirloom marcona almonds
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup hot water
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut squash in vertical pieces, about 1/2 inch thick. Place in a baking dish and coat with olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
- Add marcona almonds to a small baking sheet.
- Add both pans to oven, and let nuts bake until toasted, about 6 minutes. Remove. Continue baking squash for 25-30 minutes, turning once, until squash is tender.
- Meanwhile, massage kale with hands, adding 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice. Set aside.
- Whisk all sauce ingredients together, and set aside.
- When all components are ready, add to a large bowl. Pour sauce over the top, and gently toss and coat with your hands. Plate, and sprinkle with harissa spice.