I am a big advocate of eating a few meals a week that are vegetarian. In the past I think the general public felt rather limited on what vegetarian meals to cook that were satisfyingly tasty. Times have changed however and today a whole universe into vegetarian cooking has developed and become mainstream. There are countless possibilities of what to cook and a wonderful array of cook books and blog posts giving us ideas of new food combinations to try out.
A fabulous success story in the blogging world is the vegetarian food blogger Heidi Swanson from San Francisco, who writes 101cookbooks.com and already has a few cookbooks to her name. I managed to pick up her latest book Super Natural Cooking in Vancouver last year when I was visiting my sister. Her photos always impress me and I like the way they have a matt finish in her book. Understandably she cooks with a wide range of lentils, beans and grains and has some excellent ideas of pairing them with various vegetables and sauces.
This recipe is very seasonal and is perfect for Autumn time as it requires you buying squash. Heidi uses ‘delicata squash’ for it’s buttery flavour and wonderful green stripes, adding a vibrancy to the dish. Sadly I could not find any at Pimlico farmers market so bought a harlequin squash instead, which worked equally well. Basically any squash that you don’t have to peel (which is actually quite a large number) will work.
I also used roseval potatoes as I adore their red skin and yellow flesh, but any other small variety of potato will work – Heidi uses new!
Finally the only other change I made to Heidi’s original recipe is that I used more tofu as I wanted to use up a whole packet.
The dish is perfect for a weeknight meal as it is very easy to prepare and takes no time to actually cook. I also love the fact that it requires no peeling of the squash – result !
Miso-Curry Harlequin Squash
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s book ‘Super Natural Every Day’
350g harlequin squash (or delicata or any that require no peeling)
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
70g sweet white miso paste (I buy mine from Sainsbury)
1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
349g firm tofu (or whole packet equivalent), cut into small cubes
4 medium Roseval potatoes, unpeeled and cut into chunks
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
45g chopped kale, tough stems removed
45g seeds (pine nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds), toasted
30g chopped coriander/cilantro
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
2. Carefully cut the harlequin squash into 1cm thick half moons.
3. In a bowl whisk together the oil, red thai curry paste and sweet miso paste.
4. Gently fold the squash, potatoes and tofu into 80ml of the miso-curry paste using your hands, making sure that you do not break up the tofu. Spread out the ingredients onto a baking sheet and place in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Toss a couple of times during cooking once the ingredients begin to bronze.
5. With the remaining miso-curry paste whisk in the lemon juice and then stir in the kale (uncooked!).
6. In a heavy skillet gently toast the seeds and nuts over a medium heat until they have bronzed and become fragrant. This will only take a couple of minutes. Do not leave them as they will burn.
7. When the squash, potatoes and tofu are cooked, gently toss all the ingredients together including the nuts and seeds, coriander/cilantro and kale. Serve hot onto warm plates.
The potatoes, squash and tofu coated in the miso-curry paste
Ready to eat – once I’ve got the perfect shot!