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Harissa Roasted Butternut Squash

Delicious roasted squash, drizzled with agave and lemon and topped with nuts and seeds.
Wooden bowl of seasoned butternut squash, pumpkin seeds and fresh herbs.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes: 6 cups
Nutrition Facts: View label

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons harissa spice mix, divided (see Notes)
2 Tablespoons agave syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (see Notes)
1 Tablespoon toasted pine nuts (optional)
1 Tablespoon each torn mint and cilantro

Directions

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Peel squash, cut in half above the rounded end and cut each piece in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the squash, oil, and 1 Tablespoon harissa until the squash is evenly coated.
  5. Pour squash onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until edges begin to brown and pieces are soft when pricked with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes. When done, stir in ½ to 1 Tablespoon harissa (use less for a milder flavor).
  6. Before serving, drizzle with agave and lemon juice. Sprinkle with seeds and nuts, if desired, and top with herbs.
  7. To create a layer of flavors, serve with Herbed Yogurt Sauce and Stovetop Quinoa. On a large dish, spread the yogurt sauce to form a shallow bowl. Add warm quinoa to the center and top with roasted squash.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes

  • Toast seeds and nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir often until they turn light brown and remove from heat to cool.
  • No harissa? Use chili powder or another seasoning blend you like.
  • Make your own harissa! To make 2 Tablespoons, mix together 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon ground caraway seed.

Comments

This recipe with the quinoa and Herbed yogurt sauce was made for 80 Second Grade students to sample as part of their Indigenous Peoples studies. The children ALL stated this was a dish they would never try in their homes. The majority of students tried the recipe and many approved. I would cut back on the harissa seasoning for a younger crowd in the future. The literature provided on the Food Hero Respecting Indigenous Foods: Squash was full of amazing content to share with the students prior to having a taste of the dish. 

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