A Pre-Thanksgiving Fall Feast!
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, one would think we'd be avoiding any ambitious cooking projects, but if you're anything like us, you can't contain your enthusiasm for all this delicious autumn produce. Michelle Aronson, farmer and chef at the Farmbelly Cooking School in Santa Barabara, CA, got to cooking with her Imperfect box and recently shared her recipes with us. Here is a perfectly Imperfect fall feast that celebrates all the delicious autumn flavors. We hope it inspires you!
Delicata Squash Stuffed with Moroccan Quinoa
Author’s note: This recipe was inspired by the Imperfect Delicata squash (my favorite variety of winter squash) and all the Moroccan flavors in my box - lemons, mint, pomegranates, etc! This dish is hearty, colorful, and nourishing, not to mention it makes perfect individual portions for dinner parties.
- 2 Imperfect delicata squash
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 bunch Imperfect lacinato kale, de-stemmed and chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ cup diced feta cheese, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds from an Imperfect pomegranate, plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the cut sides of the squash and season with salt + pepper.
- Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Flip the squash over and continue cooking, cut side up, until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife, about 10 to 15 minutes longer (timing will depend on the size of your squash). Remove the squash from the oven and let cool slightly.
- While the squash roasts, in a medium saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup quinoa, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and steam quinoa for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and transfer to a wide bowl.
- While the squash and quinoa are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide saute pan.
- When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat slightly and add the minced garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon.
- Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped kale and juice of 1 lemon, and sauté until the leaves collapse, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove this mixture from the heat and add it to the bowl of cooked quinoa.
- Add the mint, cilantro, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, feta, and pomegranates to the bowl of quinoa and toss until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Divide the quinoa mixture among the cavities of the roasted squash. Garnish with an extra sprinkle of feta and pomegranates.
Black Radish "Chips"
Author’s note: This recipe was inspired by the uniquely beautiful black radishes in my box, which I had never cooked with before. I love how roasting thin slices of the radishes brings out an irresistible sweetness and crunch, and they are made even more delicious when you drizzle them with a bit of honey!
- 3-4 Imperfect black radishes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Honey (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Using a mandoline (or a very sharp chef’s knife), slice the radishes as thin as possible (ideally 1/16-inch thick). Place the radish slices in a large mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Arrange the radishes on a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, turn once, then for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the radishes turn lightly brown and the edges curl up.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool (this will help the “chips” get crispy).
- Once cool, drizzle a bit of honey on the chips and enjoy on their own or with your favorite dip!
Spiced Pumpkin Cashew Dip
Author’s note: I’m seriously obsessed with this pumpkin cashew dip! This (vegan) dip is creamy and full of warm pumpkin spices, bright citrus, a touch of sweetness, and a perfect hint of heat from the cayenne pepper. Slather it on toast, crackers, apples, etc., or just eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon!
- 1 cup roasted Imperfect pumpkin flesh
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 1-2 hours in hot water
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pumpkin seeds (optional garnish)
- To roast the pumpkin: preheat oven to 400°F. Cut pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds. Drizzle pumpkin with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with kosher salt. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast until the flesh is very soft, about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Measure out 1 cup of the roasted pumpkin flesh and add to a food processor.
- Drain the cashews and add to the bowl of the food processor, along with all of the remaining ingredients.
- Blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If consistency is too thick, add more coconut oil, orange juice, or water.
- Garnish with pumpkin seeds and enjoy as a fall dip with apples, carrots, crackers, or spread it on toast.