roast cubed squash

image of roast butternut squash courtesy of Fimb via Flickr


Shak-shouka is a North African dish, made by preparing a richly, warmly spiced rustic tomato salsa in a skillet, then cracking eggs onto the salsa to poach.  Think of it like a Moroccan or Tunisian version of huevos rancheros.  We streamline things by starting with shakshouka-salsa-in-a-jar, and then instead of eggs we use chickpeas and butternut squash.

We made this for our birthday party, and you all loved it. It is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, too. Not only is it easy to make and can be made ahead of time, warmed up at the last minute while someone is carving turkey, but it will satisfy those who don’t do turkey. I don’t know about you, but my family has vegans and turkey lovers. We try to make sure everyone is happy as a clam!

We’re using Eden beans because they cook their beans with a piece of kombu (kelp seaweed), which makes them easy to digest. Eden treats their farmers right, and Eden was the first company to use BPA-free cans! I also find that they have more beans in their cans and less liquid.

Les Moulins Mahjoub Shak-Shuka, hand-made in Tunisia, is made with their own extra virgin olive oil and flavored with peppers, tomatoes, onions, coriander and caraway. Yum. Butternut squash is not only gorgeous to look at but provides a wonderful counterpoint to garbanzo (aka chickpeas). Both the beans and squash are rich in fiber that fills us up but not out.

Serves 6 as an entree; more as a side

Preheat oven to 425

4 cups cubed butternut or other winter squash (from about 1 large squash) 1 roughly 12-oz jar shak-shouka sauce (we strongly recommend Les Moulins Mahjoub brand)
1 29-oz can cooked chick peas (we use the Eden brand) ¼ C extra virgin olive oil (more is fine!)
1 tsp each ground black pepper and good salt optional: pumpkin seeds or pine nuts for garnish

Use a chef’s knife to trim off the top and bottom ends of the squash. Next, cut the “neck” from the bulb (cut the squash in half). With a vegetable peeler, remove the tough skin. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carve out the seeds. (Save seeds and roast just like pumpkin seeds!) Dice squash into bite-sized cubes. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in 425-degree oven for 25 minutes, or until tender when pierced by a knife and just starting to brown around edges.

Open can of Eden chickpeas. Drain. Put in bowl. Open jar of Les Moulins Shak-Shuka and add that to beans. Add roasted butternut squash and toss everything together gently. Taste, adjust seasoning. If you want more good salt or pepper, now’s the time. Eat hot or room temp. Spoon onto plates and enjoy. You done your body good.