I'm a little bit obsessed with Miso right now, trying to sneak it into all sorts of dishes. And it seems to work, with everything!! A deliciously deep, umami flavour that adds another dimension to dishes. Being soy-based it has a great natural saltiness so you won't need to add any salt. And fermented foods are so great for you - the fermentation process creates beneficial enzymes that preserve nutrients and breaks them down into a form that's easier to digest. The crispy sage was also a total revelation. For some reason I've never really given sage a chance but now I want to eat it crispy with EVERYTHING!
For my Roasted Harlequin Squash with Miso, Shiitake & Chilli Lentils to serve 2, you'll need:
½ Harlequin Squash
1 Garlic Clove
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Red Onion
1 Cayenne Chilli Pepper (or medium-hot chilli of your choice)
100g Green Lentils
5-6 Shiitake Mushrooms
1 tbsp Organic Brown Rice Miso - I use Clearspring
70 ml water
6 Sage Leaves
The picture's not great, what with the lack of evening light, but trust me this dish was delicious - my best friend was bowled over by the flavour, and she usually hates mushrooms!
Firstly set your oven to 210°c. Peel the Harlequin Squash & cut into wedges. You can use another type of squash here but the Harlequin has a lovely, gentle flavour if you can get one. Throw into a bowl with 1½ tbsp olive oil. Crush the garlic and add to the bowl with a few grinds of coarse black pepper. Shake the bowl well until all the wedges are coated. Lay a sheet of baking paper out onto a baking tray and lay out the wedges. Drizzle over all the oil and garlic left in the bowl. Put into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes. They should sizzle and brown nicely!
Now cook the green lentils in a pan of boiling water, as per the instructions on the packet - about 25 minutes. I like mine to be just-cooked so that they do not go stodgy.
Meanwhile finely dice the red onion, slice the cayenne chilli and finely chop the shiitakes. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and sweat the onions on a medium heat for around 8 minutes. Then add the chilli and shiitakes and cook for a further 10 minutes. If your squash is now cooked then remove from the oven and cover until needed.
Drain the lentils and add to the frying pan with the miso. Mix together thoroughly, making sure there are no lumps of miso present, and add the water. Turn up the heat and let this sizzle for a minute, continuing to mix. Remove from the heat.
In a little frying pan heat the remaining olive oil to high. Plate up the lentils and top with the squash wedges. To crispy-fry the sage add to the pan and within a few seconds the leaf will crisp up. Remove quickly with tongs before they turn brown and add to the dish.
Serve and enjoy!