Courtesy of Hathorne Restaurant
1 acorn squash
1lb and one each whole leek
1lb fennel bulbs
4oz whole almond (raw skinless)
Salt (to taste)
Lemon juice (to taste)
2oz kasseri cheese
Roasted/grilled squash procedure:
- Split the squash in half (starting from the end of the stem), and using a spoon, scoop out the guts and seeds.
- Cut the squash halves into half-moon shapes that around ½”-⅔” wide at the rind (the rind is edible so don’t worry about removing it).
- Oil and season the portioned squash pieces with canola and salt before placing them in the oven at 350° for 20-30 minutes (until fork tender)
- Set aside to cool.
Melted fennel and leeks procedure:
- Destem the fennel, setting the stems aside for later, and then cut the fennel in half long ways. Remove the core, and then slice the fennel in half rounds no bigger than ¼” thick.
- Cut off the very end of 1lb leeks and split the leeks in half long ways. Cut the leeks into half rounds no bigger than ¼” thick. (note: the single leek leftover will be used for ash).
- Rinse both the fennel and leeks together very well as to not have dirt in the final product and then allow to drip dry in a colander.
- In a wide, shallow pan or rondeaux, combine the fennel/leek with just enough canola to coat the bottom of the pan and then “melt” the mixture over low heat, turning frequently. When the mixture is cooked down and almost breaks apart to the touch it is ready. Season the mixture with salt and lemon juice to taste.
Acorn Squash - Garnishes and procedures for them: Leek ash:
- Split a single leek in half and place on a sheet tray with no oil or seasoning.
- Bake at 425°, turning the leek over every 30-45 minutes, until it is completely dried/burnt and has a dark brown color. Cook time will vary depending on the size of the leek and whether or not convection is used.
- Blitz the burnt leek into an “ash” with a food processor.
- Toss the raw almonds in oil and coat in salt.
- Roast in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes, turning the baking vessel at 5 minutes to insure an even roast.
- Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Pulse in food processor into crumbs
- Pick all of the green fronds off of the fennel stalks.
- Blitz them in a kitchen blender and slowly add oil until it is fully pureed.
- Pour the oil into a strainer that has been lined with a cheesecloth to catch the solids from the process.
- Reserve the oil that strains out for plating.
Plating and serving:
- Dust your plating vessel with the leek ash.
- Place a row of the melted fennel/leek on top of the ash.
- Place the roasted squash atop the fennel/leek.
- Lightly drizzle the squash with the fennel oil.
- Sprinkle the almond crumbs and kasseri on top of the squash.
- Dust the squash with ground sumac and fennel pollen.