This recipe has a funny little story behind it. Last week, in the midst of writing and cooking for thanksgiving, I was in need of a quick, pantry staple kind of lunch. I had recently seen a recipe in Donny Hay magazine for a pumpkin, lentil, korma curry that was all baked together in one pan. I loved the idea of baking a curry-type dish the oven, while only dirtying one pan, so I thought, maybe I’ll give something like that a try. I had some delicata squash, lentils and coconut milk. I also had a red onion, some almonds and herbs. I did not have any curry paste, so I decided to add harissa for flavor and for a kick. I threw these ingredients into a baking dish and crossed my fingers. I had no idea how it would turn out, and I was so surprised, that out came a delicious, fancy-ish, healthy meal, loaded with flavor and texture, and filled with some of my favorite ingredients.
The next day I met up with my good friend Hetty for coffee and a pre-thanksgiving union square greenmarket run. As we sipped coffee and chatted about what we were going to make for t-day, she surprised me with a jar of harissa from her friends NYShuk. I laughed and told her about my semi-accidental, one-pan, pantry recipe success where the harissa was the star ingredient … and that I couldn’t wait to test it again with my new harissa (which is also now my new favorite now, btw).
Being the delicata squash lover that I am (it’s all about that delicious, edible skin) I am always looking for new ways (besides the classic, roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper) to enjoy my favorite fall veggie. I have also been looking to create more one-pot/dish/pan meals, because who doesn’t want less hassle and less dishes to wash. I have a feeling this recipe will become a new all-time favorite of mine for both a quick lunch, or a dinner party side dish.
harissa + coconut milk baked delicata squash with lentils and toasted almonds
This recipe was inspired by a recipe I spotted in the most recent Donna Hay magazine for tray-roasted pumpkin and lentil korma curry. Feel free to use a curry paste instead of the harissa if you prefer.
2 medium sized delicata squashes, seeds scooped and sliced into half moons
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
¼ cup of harissa (my favorite is NYSHUK )
13.5oz can of full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of lentils
1/3 cup of toasted almonds
A handful of chopped herbs of your choice such as: cilantro, basil, parsley
- Pre-heat the oven to 425º.
- In a medium sized, deep baking dish, toss the squash and onion with the harissa, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle the lentils evenly over the vegetables and pour the coconut milk and water over the top, making sure the lentils are submerged. Return to the oven and cook for another 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are cooked.
- Top with the toasted almonds and herbs, and serve warm.