Tuesday, 2 February 2016

No Confusion- Fusion!

Zucca Butternut al Miso, Erbe Aromatiche & Miele su Riso Rosso
Miso Butternut Squash with Aromatic Herbs & Honey Glaze on Red Rice

I hadn't had butternut squash in a while, so when I saw this little, handy, 1-person-sized cutie-pie at the market hall on Saturday, I decided it just had to come home with me!

But, small as it was, it was still way more than 1 person could eat in one go... so this evening I decided to cut myself 3 nice slices from it and to do something really nice with them!

By using miso paste, honey and lots of herbs, I managed to transform the otherwise sweet and tasty but ultimately rather bland butternut and to give it a whole, wonderful dose of "umami" goodness! 

I served it on a bed of they, red rice that was flavored with hoisin sauce- and lo and behold- I had a quick, tasty, health, un-Asia dish using a couple of Asian ingredients, with European herbs and olive oil... Am I in a state of confusion? Or do they call that kind of cooking, "fusion"?

So, I needed just 3, 1 1/2" slices of this small squash, 1 teacupful of red rice, 1 tablespoon of miso paste, 1 tablespoon of honey, plenty of sage, parsley and thyme, salt, pepper, hoisin sauce and olive oil... what a mix-up of flavors! But they all work so wonderfully together!

I think that this picture can paint a thousand words... right? because come on... does that look good? Or does that look good? wink emoticon

Next, cut your squash into slices, about the thickness of your finger and score them in a criss-cross pattern from each side... mind not to go TOO deep now! But at the same time, cut deep enough to allow the flavors to soak in during cooking.

Put your teaspoon of miso paste into a frying pan, cover the base of the pan with boiling water and stir until the miso has completely dissolved, In the meantime, finely chop around 4-5 sage leaves, 1 sprig of rosemary and a few sprigs of thyme and add them, along with the squash and let them simmer together for 3-4 minutes from each side.

After that time, the squash will be half-way dome and the water will have all-but evaporated away. At this point, remove the squash and add the honey, stirring it in and removing it from the heat so that it doesn't begin to caramelize or burn.

And together with the remaining juices, this will be your glaze for the squash slices.

Brush with the glaze and a light drizzle of olive oil, add some freshly ground pepper and bake in a pre-heated oven, at 200°C, for 10 minutes or so, then turn on the grill function for the next 2-3 minutes... because now you DO want that honey to caramelize and become golden!

And there you have it- rich and flavorful and delicious... and ready to serve!

I served mine on a bed of red rice, which I seasoned with just a hint of salt during boiling and finished with a drizzle of hoisin and olive oil. Add a few fresh herbs as a garnish and simply enjoy!

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