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Monday, December 24, 2012

Red Curry Delicata Squash w/ Tofu {12 Weeks of Winter Squash}

I feel pretty virtuous eating meals like this just two days before "holiday" food.  Now, if only I had the resolve to skip the fattening dips and spreads and cookies and bars and.... well, you get the point.  I suppose it is essential that I eat virtuously for at least a month leading up to a heavy-foodie-holiday.

This marks my first date with Delicata.  I've had my eye on it for a while now.  All tubular and yellow with pretty green stripes.  I haven't been able to get it out of my head.  For at least eight or nine weeks now.  Finally we connected.

I've had a recipe marked for almost as long that used red curry paste - something I love.  And go through "phases" with.  I haven't used any in a while, so this dish was a bonus.  Originally, the squash, the tofu, and the broccoli were basically stir-fried and then liquid was added to them and they were simmered.  And while it sounded good, I know myself.  I prefer both my winter squash AND my tofu roasted.  So I kept the basic flavor profile and the same ingredients, and I turned it into a roast, instead.
The tofu gets pressed and roasted until chewy (the way I like it), while the squash gets tender, but not mushy.  The slight sweetness of the squash goes so well with the mild heat from the curry paste.  Scoop the whole shebang over some warm brown rice, and you've got yourself a meal.

I contemplated whipping up a little sauce of glaze for this, but in the end, decided that I liked it just the way it was.  If you feel you need something, you can make it during the second half of the roasting time and everything will be done together.

(Roasted) Red Curry Delicata Squash w/ Tofu

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: ~30 minutes
Keywords: vegan broccoli squash tofu winter fall

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 3 Tbs. mild olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 16 oz. firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed for at least 1 hour
  • 3 oz. prepared red curry paste, such as Thai Kitchen
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt + more to finish
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 small-medium Delicata squash (~2 lbs.)
  • 1 c. small broccoli florets
  • cilantro leaves, to garnish
  • cooked brown rice, for serving
Preheat oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the tip and tail off of the squash, cut in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds. Cut into ¼" half-moons. Cut the block of tofu in half lengthwise (through the center so that you have two thin, large rectangles. Cut each half into quarters.
Combine oil, red curry paste, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Dip each piece of tofu into the mixture and turn to coat. The tofu should have a very thin layer covering all sides. Set on one of the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle all over with some more salt.

Add the squash to the bowl and use your hands to toss and coat all of the slices. Lay out in a single layer on the other baking sheet.

Add the broccoli florets to the bowl and toss to coat with the last of the curry paste mixture. Set aside for now.

Slide the baking tray with the tofu on it into the preheated oven; roast for 15 minutes. Remove tray from the oven, and quickly flip the tofu slices over; add broccoli to the empty half of this baking sheet, slide back into oven, also sliding the other baking tray (with squash) in at the same time. Roast for another 15 minutes.

Remove from oven - the squash and broccoli should be tender and the tofu should be chewy.  Serve over warm brown rice and garnish with cilantro.

If you like, you could make a quick sauce/glaze on the stove top while this is roasting. Put some maple syrup into a small pan along with a dollop of red curry paste. Whisk and simmer to reduce a bit. Drizzle over plates before serving.

This recipe was inspired by and adapted from herbivoracious
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Don't forget to drop by my 12 Weeks of Winter Squash co-host, Joanne's place to see what she did with winter squash this week!  Also, we'd love it if you'd share what you're doing with winter squash in your kitchen this week in the linky tool below.

1. Red Curry Delicata Squash w/ Tofu

2. Black Bean and Butternut Squash Taco & Salad

3. Lasagna of Fall Vegetables, Gruyere & Sage Bechame