In the fall, there are amazing squash varieties available – so many, it’s hard to know where to begin! I rediscovered spaghetti squash this fall; I had forgotten it has a subtle sweetness that is so delicious. Butternut, an all time favorite, is rich and “squashy” and makes great soup or really, the best pumpkin pie. If you didn’t already know, pumpkin is from the squash family and makes a flavorful substitution in pumpkin recipes. My favorite squash at the moment is the black futsu, with a chestnut flavor and a dark orange flesh – it’s not only beautiful, but really delicious. Try it in the recipe below or substitute with your favorite variety.
Roasted Black Futsu with Kale & Jasmine Rice
- One medium black futsu squash, quartered & sliced
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup brown jasmine or other fragrant rice, prepared according to instructions
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 1/2 cups of kale (any kind), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry-toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 400° and arrange squash pieces (skin on) in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne until evenly coated. Transfer to the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until squash has softened and easily peels away from the skin, rotating halfway through.
Cook rice. Add cloves, fennel seeds, salt & pepper to taste and just a touch of olive oil. In a small skillet over low heat, toast the (rinsed and dried) pumpkin seeds. Stir often until just barely browned, then remove from the pan and set aside.
When the rice is just about done, stir in the chopped kale. You want to just wilt it down, not cook it, so wait until you’re just about ready to serve. Toss in the golden raisins. Plate squash, rice and garnish with the pumpkin seeds.
Photography by Kayce McClure