What a week. Between the presidential election, Leonard Cohen and Gwen Ifill passing away and the general unhappiness of my life I have one thing to say. 2016 can suck it. I’m ready to move on with a little more forgiveness, tolerance, and hope. I don’t want to get too political here, but I hope that you are with me when I say that I find the amount of vitriolic hatred, violence, and racism that has reared it’s ugly head all over the country disheartening.
I left for New York on election night, so I missed the reaction here in Portland. There were a lot of demonstrations and unfortunately a small group of people decided to get destructive, not cool. While away we saw a lot of marches, all peaceful, and it was inspiring to me to see people being passionate about their beliefs in a supportive and positive way. I don’t expect to change minds, but I do hope that regardless of your gender, race or sexual orientation we try to embrace and accept those that are different from us, rather than use political affiliations as an excuse to promote hate.
The city was amazing and beautiful, and I had one of the best meals of my life while I was there. My son has decided that going to college in New York would be okay with him so now I need to figure out how on earth to potentially pay for four years at NYU. We spent a lot of time wandering the city, going to museums, shopping, and eating. First dinner, second dinner, midnight snack, we did it all.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and at the moment I have no idea how we are going to celebrate the holiday. We were invited to have dinner with friends, but I must admit that I worry that politics will become a major discussion point and I don’t want the day to be tainted by arguments, even among friends. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family and bring people together for better or worse, but I’m just not ready to deal with things just yet.
Regardless of what we end up doing for the holiday, I’ve been testing recipes, and I thought I’d offer up a winter delicata squash bowl that would also stand in as a great stuffing substitute on your holiday table. I’ve made a few different versions of this recipe before but never shared it. This variation is vegan, but a little bit of a nice melty cheese on top is delicious. I add a bit of Italian sausage for my son, and he loves it. Delicata squash is one of my favorites since you don’t need to peel it and it roasts up quickly when popped into a hot oven. I’ve combined it in this bowl with chanterelle mushrooms and persimmons, but cremini mushrooms, and apples or pears would be good substitutes.
If you make this winter delicata squash bowl, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #scalingback on Instagram so I can see what you came up with!
- ½ pound chanterelle mushrooms
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 delicata squash (about 1 pound)
- 2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup millet
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the gremolata:
- ⅓ cup hazelnuts
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 small clove garlic, minced on a Microplane or finely diced
- 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest (or about 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a paper towel to brush any dirt off the mushrooms and trim any tough ends. Cut larger pieces in half or quarters if needed then toss the mushrooms and shallots with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on one of the prepared baking sheets.
- Trim the ends off the squash, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash into ¼-inch pieces, add to a large bowl along with the persimmons and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the mushrooms and squash for 15-20 minutes until they are soft to the touch, and start to caramelize.
- While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the millet. Rinse the millet in cold water and add to a small saucepan along with two cups of water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring the millet to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 18-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the millet is fluffy and cooked but not mushy.
- To make the gremolata finely chop the parsley and add to a bowl along with the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Stir well and then add the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired, a bit of extra salt, a touch more lemon juice or some honey if it's too tart for your liking.
- To serve, toss the millet together with the squash, mushrooms and persimmons with a tablespoon or two of the gremolata. Serve with extra sauce drizzled on top or on the side.