Roasted Butternut Squash Smørrebrød with Spicy Harissa Mayo and Pepitas

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Remember that very traditional new potato smørrebrød I shared with you recently?  This is a somewhat unconventional take on that concept.  The same dense rye bread, butter and greens for a base, but this time topped with buttery roasted squash half-moons, spicy harissa mayonnaise, cilantro and pepitas.  A complete break from tradition, but delicious in its own right.

Roasted Butternut Squash Smørrebrød with Spicy Harissa Mayo and Pepitas

Makes 4 small sandwiches (which serves about two people)

 4 thin slices dense rye bread, a little over 1/4 inch thick

Butter, preferably salted

A handful or two of baby arugula leaves

Roasted Butternut Squash Half-Moonsrecipe below

Spicy Harissa Mayonnaise, recipe below

a handful of cilantro leaves (removed from their stems but left whole)

1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted in a dry skillet

Butter each slice of bread.  Place a layer of baby arugula leaves on top.  Arrange squash slices artfully over the arugula.  Spoon Spicy Harissa Mayo over the squash.  Scatter cilantro leaves and roasted pepitas on top.  Serve.

Roasted Butternut Squash Half-Moons

Adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen

Depending on the size of your squash, makes enough for approximately 4 sandwiches.  Plan on about 6 slices of squash per sandwich.

1 Medium-sized butternut squash

2 tablespoons butter

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the neck portion of the squash from the rounded bottom (ideally just above where the seeds start).  Peel the neck portion of the squash using a y-shaped vegetable peeler.  You can surely peel and use the bottom of the squash as well, cutting it in half and removing the seeds from the cavity with a spoon before proceeding with the recipe.  I save the unpeeled bottom of the squash for my backyard chickens.  They think it is about the best treat ever.
  3. Carefully cut the peeled squash in half lengthwise, and then into 1/4 inch thick half-moon shapes.
  4. Melt butter in a large bowl.  Place squash slices in the bowl with the butter and toss until coated.
  5. Lay squash slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the squash slices are soft and slightly caramelized on the bottom.  Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

Squash can be prepared up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.  The squash is best if it is not cold from the fridge.  Take it out 30 minutes or so before assembling sandwiches to warm slightly before using.

Spicy Harissa Mayonnaise

Makes approximately 1/4 cup

1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise

1 tablespoon prepared harissa (I use the one from Trader Joe’s)

Combine mayonnaise and harissa in a small bowl.  Add more harissa to taste.  Can be prepared up to two days in advance.

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