Monday, February 6, 2012

The Food Matters Project: Miso-Glazed Mini Skewers

Welcome to the brand-new Food Matters Project, the brainchild of Sarah of 20somethingcupcakes and Kate from Cookie + Kate. When I read the mission - cooking through The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman who espouses eating more plants, fewer animal products and processed foods, and the positive impact of those choices on us and our planet - I was in.

Each week we will all - here's the 'we', just over a dozen fellow foodie bloggers - cook the same recipe, posting our interpretations and adaptations. This week we were assigned Mark's Chipotle-Glazed Squash Skewers. [Recipe is below.*] Click here for our hostess's post.

I took some liberties, lots of liberties; I used carnival squash, added purple Hawaiian sweet potatoes and went with the miso-glaze option. Sort of. Oh, and I deconstructed the 'skewer' to create appetizer-sized skewers AKA a toothpick. Enjoy my take on this delicious dish!

1 carnival squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 purple Hawaiian sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch coins
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C miso
1 T minced garlic
1 T ginger syrup
freshly ground pink Himalaya salt and flower pepper
apple bananas, cut into thick coins
black sesame seeds for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Combine the oil, miso, garlic, ginger syrup, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Roll the cubed squash and sweet potatoes until completely coated. Please them in the roasting pan.

Bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Then uncover and continue to bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, moving them around once or twice and basting with any pan juices. When the squash is tender and deeply colored, remove the roasting pan from the oven.

Assemble the mini skewers by spearing 1 apple banana coin, 1 squash, and 1 sweet potato onto a toothpick. Serve hot or at room temperature sprinkled with black sesame seeds, freshly ground pink Himalaya salt and flower pepper.

Some kitchen notes...
Carnival squash, from my High Ground Organics CSA box, is cream-colored with orange spots or pale green with dark green spots in vertical stripes, reminiscent of a carnival big-top! Its thick skin is difficult to cut and only the flesh is eaten. It is sometimes labeled as a type of acorn squash.

Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes are also known as Okinawan potatoes which are native to the Japanese island of Okinawa. They are a member of the morning glory family and are called 'uala in Hawaiian.

Here are some of the other bloggers' takes...from Heather at girlichef; Joanne at Eats Well With Others made it into a salad; from Erin at Naturally Ella; and from Keely Marie. These are just a few. Click here for the full line-up - links are in the comments of the post. Enjoy!

*The Original Recipe: Chipotle-G​lazed Squash Skewers
Makes: 4 - 8 servings, Time: About 1 hour, plus time to soak wooden skewers

1 1/2 pounds butternut or other winter squash (you can also use sweet potatoes), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil, plus some greasing for the pan
1 or 2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped, with 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and black pepper
Lime wedges, optional
Chopped fresh cilantro, optional

1. If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 - 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with oil. Thread the squash tightly on 8 to 12 wooden or metal skewers and put them in the roasting pan.

2. Combine the 1/4 cup oil, 1 chipotle chile, the adobo sauce, garlic, honey, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. (A mortar and pestle is ideal here.) Taste and add another chile if you like.

3. Brush the glaze evenly over the squash skewers and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, turning once or twice and basting with any pan juices. When the squash is tender and deeply colored, remove the skewers from the oven. Serve hot or at room temperature with lime wedges and cilantro if you like.

Miso Squash Skewers: Substitute peanut oil for the olive oil, 1/4 cup any miso for the chipotles and adobo, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar for the garlic, and 2 tablespoons mirin for the honey.


  1. Oh! I was wondering if anybody would choose the miso-glazed option. I love your combo of squash and purple sweet potato and I can just imagine the banana goes so well to top it all off. Lovely!

  2. Thanks, Heather! I loved your comment - in your post - about being a "cheeseslut." I am soooo with you on that one. ;)

  3. Where did you find apple bananas???

  4. @Jenn, the Filipino-Indian market. But I've seen them other places, too, let me think.


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