Sweet and spicy delicata squash over a bed of tangy cilantro lime rice. If you love “burrito bowls” this recipe is perfect for you! In fact a scoop of black beans or pulled pork would really take this meal over the top.
Fresh cilantro pairs perfectly with tomatoes, hot peppers, and other late summer produce, but it’s also a crop that does well in cooler weather. This week’s CSA share contains sweet delicata and cool cilantro. They make a surprisingly great pair – we also made a delicious noodle soup topped with a healthy sprinkle of cilantro. I usually store cilantro with it’s stems in a glass of water inside the refrigerator, like a bouquet of flowers. Last week, I chopped it all and kept it in a container instead. It kept perfectly and was ready to use for topping chili, tacos, and more. We didn’t waste a bit!
The squash turns out really spicy thanks to 2 of my favorite kitchen staples, chipotle in adobo and smoked paprika. The next time you’re at the grocery store pick up a little can of chipotle in adobo (you’ll find it near the tortillas and salsas usually) Puree it and store indefinitely in the refrigerator. It’s super spicy and adds a kick to just about anything. Make easy aiolis and yogurt dipping sauces, add to soups and stews, taco night, etc.
The cilantro rice mellows out the spicy squash perfectly (but, you can ease off on the spiciness if you prefer). Sauté a few colorful veggies to toss with cooked rice. You can also change up the veggies based on your CSA share, try shredded greens, tomatoes, green peppers, turnips, radishes, anything! Add cilantro and lime based on how much you like those flavors. I love them, so I added a lot!
If you multi-task in the kitchen this can come together fairly quickly. Cook the rice while you prep the squash, then fluff it up and let it cool. While the squash bakes finish the rice. We’re just mixing the cooked vegetables, lime, and cilantro right into the warm rice so stir gently so it doesn’t get too sticky. You can also make this with leftover cold rice, just add it right to the warm pan with the vegetables and stir to break it up. Let it warm up completely.
Chipotle Maple Delicata Squash with Cilantro Lime Rice
loosely adapted from Cookie & Kate
2 delicata squash
1 – 2 tablespoons puréed chipotle in adobo
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 grated clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white or brown rice
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 ripe pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F
1. Cook the rice according to package directions
2. Remove the tops and bottoms of the squash, then slice the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the halves into thin slices.
3. Mix together the chipotle, maple syrup, garlic, olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt. It will be really spicy with 2 tablespoons of chipotle, so use less if desired. Toss the squash with the chipotle mixture and spread into an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Bake the squash for 30 – 40 minutes (I like mine when it starting to brown), flipping the squash at least once during cooking.
5. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Add the carrots, peppers, and onions with a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, but still bright in color. Turn off the heat, but leave the vegetables in the pot.
6. Use a microplaner or the small side of a box grater to shred the zest off half the lime. Slice the lime in half.
7. Gently stir together the rice, juice from half the lime, lime zest, vegetables, cilantro, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and add salt and more lime juice to taste. Serve the squash over the rice garnished with more cilantro.
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