Fregola Sarda with Kale, Winter Squash, Harissa Oil & Buttered Pistachios
2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons oil (i.e. olive, avocado, grapeseed)
- 1 teaspoon harissa paste
- 1 teaspoon preserved lemon rind, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped pistachios
- ½ teaspoon toasted and ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb winter squash, halved, seeds removed, and peeled if desired
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ cup fregola sarda (or israeli couscous)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ shallot, thinly sliced
- 2-3 cups (2-3 ounces) finely chopped kale
- 1 tablespoon butter
- White wine (optional)
- Lemon juice
For the Harissa Oil
- In a small saucepan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, swirling the pan often, or just until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and add the harissa paste, using a fork or back of a spoon to whisk everything together and incorporate. Add the preserved lemon and set aside.
For the Buttered Pistachios
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add the pistachios and cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes or until the pistachios are toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl and season with the coriander, chili flakes, a pinch of salt, and black pepper. Set aside to cool.
For the Squash
- Preheat the oven to 425º F, and line a baking sheet with parchment. This next step is optional, but fun: Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from ¼ of the squash and shave ribbons of the flesh off so you have a handful of them. Set aside.
- Cut the remaining squash into ½” dice and toss with the oil and a big pinch of salt. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and roast, giving everything a stir halfway through, for 10-12 minutes, or until the squash is tender and golden brown. Set aside.
For the Fregola Sarda
- Bring at least 4 cups of salted water to a boil, and add the fregola sarda (see Note for using israeli couscous). Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 10-15 minutes (or as noted on the package instructions) to al dente, not mushy. Drain and rinse lightly with cold water, then let as much water as possible drain off. Set aside.
Note: If using israeli couscous, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the pot before adding any water. Once hot, add the dry couscous and toast, shaking the pan often, for about 5 minutes or until some of the couscous has turned golden brown in areas. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Add a few big pinches of salt and carefully add at least 4 cups of water to cover (the pan is likely still hot and has oil in it, so use caution when adding the water), and proceed with the cooking instructions above.
To Assemble & Serve
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic, and shallot along with a big pinch of salt. Moving the pan around often, cook just until everything begins to soften. Add the kale and stir frequently so it wilts, cooking 2-3 minutes. Add the roasted and the raw squash, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the fregola sarda, a splash of white wine, and another pinch of salt, and let cook for 30 seconds to a minute to burn off the alcohol. Add a tablespoon of water and the butter, toss everything together a few times. Season with salt and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Transfer to a serving dish and finish by drizzling with harissa oil and sprinkling the buttered pistachios on top. Enjoy warm!