Wednesday, May 25, 2011

miso-curry butternut squash with tofu + cavolo nero recipe

miso-curry butternut squash with tofu + cavolo nero

Few people have made an impression on my life lately as much has Heidi Swanson. If it wasn't for her cookbook Super Natural Cooking I may have never found her blog 101cookbooks, I may never have found my fellow tribe of food bloggers lovers and I know I would have never thought to start my own blog. I also know I am not alone in my admiration of her as millions throughout the world hang off her every word and salivate over every picture she takes.

Her latest cookbook Super Natural Every Day has just come out and as anticipated has completely blown me away. Her simple, flavourful, easy-to-prepare recipes, interspersed by her moody photographs of her everyday life in San Francisco make this an instant success. Reading her book is like spending a day along side Heidi herself, as she grabs you by the hand and takes you on a tour of her town and her home, guiding you from pantry, to fridge and then to her stove where she shows you how to throw a simple dish together with the style and flair she is well known for. I mean, brown butter is nothing new right? It has been made and eaten for centuries. But in Heidi’s hands, rather than being reserved only for pasta dishes flavoured with sage, it instead comes drizzled atop a steaming bowl of oatmeal, studded with prunes, hazelnuts and yoghurt. 

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The day I received her book in the post was a good one, for me more so, not the kids! Dinner was a little later than usual, as I stood at the stove stirring our lentil spaghetti dinner with one hand, whilst reading with the other. The kids were unceremoniously shunned to bed with the fast-tracked version of where the wild things are and one, not the usual 10 rounds of “Goodnight, sweet dreams, I love you”. Over that night and the following morning I devoured each and every page. Read every word, gazed at every photo. 

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My thoughts quickly turned to what am I going to cook first?! I am a huge fan of tempeh, so it came as no surprise that her black pepper tempeh was the first on my list. The flavours are fresh and bold, perfect to serve with a side of brown rice. Sweet, salty and with an amazing buttery taste from the coconut oil, caramelized shallots, garlic and ginger, I can see this fast becoming one of our weekly meals. Next on my list was the recipe I’m sharing today. Miso-curry delicata squash with tofu, kale, cilantro (coriander) and pepitas (pumpkin seeds). As I've never seen delicata squash before, I swapped in some new season butternut squash (pumpkin in NZ) instead. Once again, Heidi’s beautiful bold flavours are at play here. Potatoes, squash and tofu are coated in a miso-thai red curry “slather”  before being roasted until golden. The tofu crisps up on the outside, while the centre remains fluffy and moist. A little of the left-over slather is then combined with fresh lemon juice and tossed through cavolo nero (an Italian kale) to soften before being combined with the roasted veges, cilantro (coriander) and toasted pumpkin seeds. The dressing clings and hides in every little crevice of the deep green leaves only to escape upon biting, while the pumpkin seeds keep things interesting, texturally. If you don’t have access to cavolo nero, swap in any kale you can find. Failing that some fresh spinach leaves would also do the trick, just fold through at the very end before serving.

I can’t wait to cook my way through Super Natural Every Day and only wish I had two copies of it. One to keep nice and clean on my book shelf and one to leave in the kitchen to get spattered with food  cook from!


miso-curry butternut squash with tofu + cavolo nero miso-curry butternut squash with tofu + cavolo nero


miso-curry butternut squash with tofu & cavolo nero
To toast the pumpkin seeds place into a dry pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until they begin to pop, puff up and are golden. Any kind of pumpkin/squash could be used in place of the butternut, or even try chunks of kumara (sweet potato) in place of the pumpkin or potato. Use fresh spinach leaves in place of the cavolo nero/kale if you can't find any. Simply toss through right before serving. Serves 4.


  • 340g butternut squash (pumpkin), about 1/2 a medium one
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • scant 1/4 cup (70g) white miso
  • scant 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
  • 225g extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 6 small potatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (45g) chopped cavolo nero, (kale) tough stems removed
  • 1/3 cup (45g) pumpkin seeds (pepitas) toasted
  • 2/3 cup (30g) chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)

Preheat oven to 205 C/400 F. Remove the seeds from the butternut squash and peel. Slice into 1cm wedges.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, miso and red curry paste. Combine tofu, potatoes and squash in a large bowl with 1/3 cup (80ml) of the miso-curry paste. Use your hands at this stage to make sure everything is evenly coated then arrange in a single layer on a baking tray.
Roast for 23-30 minutes, until tender and brown. Making sure you toss everything a few times during that time and keep an eye on the edges of the tray as the paste can start to catch and burn easily.

While the veges are roasting, add the lemon juice to the remaining miso-curry paste to form a dressing and stir in the cavolo nero to coat.
Toss the vegetables gently with the cavolo nero, pumpkin seeds and coriander (cilantro) and serve. Store any leftovers in the fridge and as I found out they make a lovely lunch, even if eaten straight from the fridge.

Recipe slightly adapted from Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson.

17 comments:

  1. yum! great post! "the dressing clings and hides in every little crevice of the deep green leaves only to escape upon biting" - mmm!

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  2. What a lovely combination of flavours, yumm...

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  3. Oh, I am such a huge Heidi-fan. Hers was the very first blog I ever discovered - it is still my favourite. I just recently ordered this book and am still waiting for it to arrive - hopefully it will be waiting for me when I get back from my trip. In the meantime, thanks for sharing this dish - looks and sounds sensational and is one I will definitely be trying.
    Sue xo

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  4. miso curry is a totally new concept for me! Very curious!
    My cavolo nero is 3 cm high, I hope it will not drawn with all the rain we are having in Auckland!

    Ciao
    A.

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  5. ~Alessandra- Me too! I would never have thought Thai red curry paste and miso could be so tasty! Good luck with your cavolo nero. Mine always got so bug eaten back home in NZ that it was more ornamental than edible!

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  6. I found your site through Heidi's site and so glad I did! I'm buying the cookbook and can't wait to try some of the recipes. You both are brilliant for making vegetarian and gluten free foods look sexy and taste great!

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  7. I've never read her blog, she definitely sounds like she knows what she's doing. Anyone who stirs butter into their oatmeal has got to be alright, right? Cavolo Nero is one of my favourite things right now - as easy to use as spinach but it lasts so much longer in the fridge, and doesn't seem to have that iron-y edge. I bet it'd be amazing with butternut and miso.

    I love that feeling of reading through a new cookbook, nothing like it :)

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  8. What a beautiful tribute to Heidi. I do not remember how or when I discovered her, but I am glad I did. If for nothing else, I grew up near San Francisco, and I love, absolutely love, to read about her days there. Enjoy the book, and enjoy the lovely meals.

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  9. Laura @ hungryandfrozen~ oh you must visit 101cookbooks! It's one of the best blogs out. She's like the "grandmother" of food bloggers... starting way back in 2003, many many years before I even knew what a blog was!

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  10. Thanks for sharing , once again it looks magical - I have signed up to her email list ! yay , food looks & sounds divine !

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  11. Goodness gracious that looks good! It certainly is the season for pumpkin and what a wonderful way to use it! I'm with you there too on the food spatters in my favourite recipe books - always a sign of good times in the kitchen.

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  12. Wow that is one awesome and tasty look plate of food, I especially love how the dressing clings for dear life to the veg, especially the black cabbage.

    I can't wait to get my mitts on the book.

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  13. I loved Supernatural Everyday so much that I ordered Super Natural Cooking as soon as I had turned the last page. Can't wait to start feasting!

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  14. Now if that isn't the most unique and gorgeous display of colors and flavors ever! So unique, that I can wait to try it, though I think I'll be waiting for fall. Simply beautiful!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  15. I love this recipe of hers, and you sell it so well! I've subbed tofu for chickpeas before with tasty results ; ) Loving the new pics! xx

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  16. i thought miso had to keep to fairly low temps to retain it's probiotic activity?

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    Replies
    1. It does, it's used in this recipe purely for the flavour :-)

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Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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