1 kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut in half, seeds removed (acorn, butternut, delicate are also fine)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika (sweet, spicy or smoked: to your taste)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 thyme sprigs
4 cloves garlic
2 medium onions, sliced (about 2 cups)
5 cups fresh carrot juice, from the refrigerated section
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup Spiced Pepitas (see recipe), for garnish
Crispy Flour Tortilla Flatbreads (see recipe), for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat squash halves with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with the paprika of your choice. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with cut side facing up. Place garlic cloves and thyme sprigs in each seed hollow. Roast until completely tender and lightly browned in spots, about 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Discard thyme stems, keeping the leaves and carefully scrape flesh away from skin. Discard skin.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until completely tender and nicely browned, about 15 minutes total. Add cooked squash flesh (discarding the skin) along with garlic cloves and thyme leaves. Stir to combine. Add carrot juice and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, skimming and discarding the foam. Remove from heat and blend until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve piping hot, garnishing with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon Spiced Pepitas per bowl and Crispy Flour Tortilla Flatbreads.
Makes 1/2 cup, 10 servings
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
A pinch of cayenne, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup raw pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds), unsalted
In a small bowl, combine lime juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper and stir until dissolved. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add pepitas and toast, tossing frequently, until seeds begin to expand and turn a light golden color. Add seasoned lime juice and stir well to coat all seeds. Remove from heat and cool in the pan. Serve at room temperature.
Crispy Flour Tortilla Flatbreads
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 12-inch flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Dissolve salt in lime juice, and then stir in paprika, cayenne and oil.
Brush 1 side of each tortilla with oil lime mixture. Cut each tortilla into 8 to 10-inch long, thin triangles with a sharp knife. Bake until crisp and lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool.
This simple, savory side of baked tomatoes, bread, and cheese is a colorful and comforting addition to the holiday table.
1 (1-lb.) loaf country bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons roughly chopped thyme
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in purée, crushed by hand
1 (16-oz.) can tomato purée
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, place soft bread, brown sugar and melted butter.
Pour out cans of tomato puree and tomato soup into bread mixture. In each empty can, pour about 1 tablespoon of warm water to rinse out the can, then pour water into bread mixture.
Using your hands or a spatula, gently mix everything together until thoroughly combined. Pour into casserole dish and bake for 1 hour. Serve immediately.