In this fun twist on a classic, we use squash instead of pastry or polenta to make a beautiful and delicious dish. Don’t be fooled by how complex it looks, it’s quite simple and once the ingredients are cooked, it’s assembled in a flash. Use this recipe to impress your guests at your next dinner party, or enjoy it for any gathering as a wonderful, substantial, vegetarian entrée.
serves 2: as an entree or 4 as a side
prep time: 15
cook time: 45 minutes
What You’ll Need:
2 baking dishes or trays
1 large skillet
1 food processor
1 medium sized butternut squash (look for one with a longer neck)
2 portobello mushrooms, stems removed, gills scraped out
a drizzle of olive oil
sea salt to taste
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the Kale Pesto:
1 bunch of kale (any variety)
2 cups dry roasted pumpkin seeds
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
a few tablespoons of olive oil for sautéing
sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Prep the squash by peeling and cutting the neck into ¾ inch rounds, leaving the bulbed, seed-filled section for another use.
Place the rounds into a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender. Once cooked, set aside.
While the squash is baking, lay the portobello mushrooms in a baking dish, top down, and drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Place in the oven and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. You can cook the squash and mushrooms at the same time, or you can put the mushrooms in the oven after the squash is cooked. If cooking together, start a separate timer for the mushrooms.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the pesto, remove the kale stems and roughly chop the greens.
Heat a large skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, then add the kale. Sprinkle in some salt then use tongs to toss the greens until just wilted. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Place the pumpkin seeds in a food processor then pulse to break up. Add the kale and continue to blend, adding more olive oil as needed to create a thick pesto like consistency.
To serve, cut the squash rounds in half across the side of the round to make them thinner.
Slice the mushrooms on a steep angle to get a large, flat slice.
Stack a mushroom slice on top of the squash, followed by a scoop of pesto, then top with the other side of the squash. Continue for each serving.
You can serve at room temperature or gently warmed.
Recipe by Frank Giglio
Photography by Jenny Nelson