Life has been crazy since I last wrote a blog post. First off, I left my dream job at Sun Basket after nearly four years. This is a big deal. If you rewind to January 2015, you can read my first post after taking a job at the healthy meal kit startup as their test kitchen intern. This was back in the days just after we moved from co-founder Tyler’s kitchen over to our first office-slash-apartment loft on Clarence Place in Soma, San Francisco. Fast forward to fall 2018, I’m running a marketing team of 20+ people, we have three huge distribution centers, and we’ve sold millions of meals to people all over the country. And truthfully, it just got too big for me.
I learned a ton at Sun Basket, but probably one of the most insightful things is that I am a builder at heart. I like creating new things and hustling. So, I’ve moved on to help build a new brand called Athletic Greens, in the fresh food world’s adrenalized little brother, superfood green supplements. This new gig is 100% remote. Which means more opportunity to get back behind my knives, a stove, and a camera. Stop giving all my passion to work and invest a little back into myself.
So here we go again, with a deeeelish side dish that I’m borrowing from The Walrus and the Carpenter, in Ballard, Seattle. I went there for work with a colleague and we swooned over just about everything, but this dish was my personal fave.
Confession: I took out the feta.
Delicata squash is cut into fat, juicy rings, roasted, then stacked up with a mysteriously savory muhammara spread, and loaded with earthy Urfa Biber chili flakes and peppery olive oil.
Delicata Muhammara Stack
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 35 min Total Time: 45 min
1-2 delicata squash (1 is ideal for 3 servings)
1 red bell pepper
1/4 olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 cup whole walnuts or 3/4 c chopped walnuts
1 tsp herbs de Provence seasoning
2-4 tsp tsp pomegranate molasses
1 Tbs lemon juice
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Urfa biber chili flakes (Aleppo, Marash or plain old red chili flakes all work too)
salt and freshly ground pepper
Optional: feta cheese and pomegranate arils for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut off ends of delicata squash, cut in half crosswise, and scoop out seeds from each half with a small spoon. Slice into 3/4” rounds. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and a good pinch of salt, and lay out in a single layer on baking sheet.
Slice the red bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the core and seeds. Place cut side down on the baking sheet with the squash.
Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss walnuts with herbs de Provence, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet.
Put both baking sheets in the oven, walnuts on the bottom. Bake for about 6 minutes and remove walnuts. Once cooled, chop walnuts coarsely. If walnuts are already chopped, they may only need 4-5 minutes in the oven.
Bake squash and peppers for another 25 minutes, til peppers are very soft and squash is tender. Flip the squash rounds about halfway through. Remove pepper from oven, place in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
Once peppers are cool enough to handle, rub off skin (it’s OK if you don’t get it all). Chop peppers coarsely.
Meanwhile, put walnuts, peppers, 2 tsp pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, 2 Tbs olive oil, cumin, garlic, a large pinch of chili flakes, and a 1/4 tsp salt in a food processor or blender. Pulse til combined, retaining a bit of texture. Season with more salt, freshly ground pepper, and more pomegranate molasses if necessary.
To serve, smear some muhammara across each serving plate, the top with a stack of 3-4 delicata squash rings. Sprinkle chili flakes on top and drizzle with olive oil.
Add some fresh feta if you’re a cheese lover. And throw on some fresh pomegranate arils if you’re entertaining.