Fregola with Cauliflower, Delicata Squash and Harissa
This North African–inspired dish features cauliflower florets and sliced winter squash rubbed with harissa, a fiery chile-and-spice paste that is available at Middle Eastern markets and most well-stocked grocery stores. Be sure to taste the harissa before adding it to the recipe, as its spiciness varies widely from brand to brand. The vegetables are served on fregola, toasted pasta spheres from Sardinia. If you can’t find fregola, you can also serve this dish over Israeli couscous or another small pasta shape such as orzo.
- 2 delicata squash
- 1 head (about 1 1/2 lb./ 750 g) cauliflower, cut into large florets
- 4 shallots, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) thick wedges, plus 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) thinly sliced shallots
- 1 to 2 Tbs. harissa
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbs. thinly sliced garlic
- 1 cup (7 oz./200 g) fregola
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./ 500 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch (12-mm) half moon–shaped slices.
In a large bowl, combine the squash, cauliflower, shallot wedges, harissa and 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, stirring to coat. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the vegetables in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake until the squash and cauliflower are easily pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes.
While the vegetables roast, make the fregola: In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the sliced shallot and garlic and sauté until tender, 2 minutes. Stir in the fregola, add the broth and saffron, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the fregola is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a small serving bowl, whisk together the yogurt and cilantro. Transfer the fregola to a large, shallow serving bowl. Spoon the roasted vegetables in the center of the bowl and spoon the yogurt sauce over the top. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Vegetarian, by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen, 2014)