On the site, I try to balance quick recipes you can make for dinner and recipes that maybe push you a little more to explore different techniques or ingredients. I have to say, this squash dish is one of the favorites I’ve made in a long time.
Everything just comes together in a delightful way. However, it’s a bit involved, primarily from the amaranth. Make it as is or take some inspiration from this recipe- either way you can end up with something delicious.
Spiced Delicata or bust
I think my favorite thing about fall cooking is the wealth of squash that come to play. Sure, there’s the staple butternut and acorn but once you start venturing out, those squash are just a number in a line of amazing varieties. Red Kuri! Blue Hubbard! Kabocha! Each one with different flavors, consistencies, and uses.
It might be obvious why I chose delicata for this recipe: no peeling and it’s beautiful in it’s ring form. However, as I recently discovered on a trip to the midwest: it’s not always available. So, if you can’t find it, use cubed butternut squash or sweet potato instead.
Amaranth: not just for porridge
I find most people avoid amaranth because this little pseudo-grain does not cook like any other. It makes a wonderful porridge but the second you want to do anything else, things start to get murky. Amaranth contains higher amounts of amylopectin (a main component of starch). This creates the gelatinous texture that helps amaranth be great porridge.
The solution, while not the most elegant, helps amaranth be a wonderful component in salads and this squash dish. Simply put the cooked amaranth in a nutmilk bag and rinse. This removes most of the creamy textures and leaves you with something usable across numerous dishes.
Other spice blends to try
In terms of spice blends, the adobo seasoning is one I've turned to for years. It’s a bit sweet, a bit smokey. However, it requires you to have a few different spices on hand. If you’re not ready to invest in that, try a spice blend you might already have such as curry or harissa (just watch the spiciness of the blend!)
In terms of peanut swaps, my next go-to would be toasted pepitas. You could also use toasted sunflower seeds. I’d stay away from pecans or walnuts- I think the flavor would be a bit too much with the seasoning.
Make this vegan
Finally, take this vegan with a simple swap of yogurt for your favorite nut-cream sauce or even vegan yogurt (I’d stay away from coconut). Use this cashew cream with the garlic and lime.
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