Roast Squash and Roots with Miso Harissa Dressing

Roasted Squash and roots with Miso Harissa Dressing

Our last meal was a pickled herring with stamppot and was perfect for one of those gloomy late-fall days that is cold, grey and damp. This on the other hand is the food equivalent of leaf peeping colourfulness and dry crisp days with blue skies. It’s a warm salad of roasted Delicata squash, celeriac, turnips and beets along with some amazing redbor kale and watermelon radish.

Once again the inspiration for this dish comes from Heidi Swanson who in turn got hers from Molly Watson. As Heidi suggests, you could make endless variations on the theme of squash roasted with miso and harissa. Whereas she uses potatoes, I decided to go for a slightly lighter tasting celeriac. And instead of stopping there, turnips and beets also made it into the mix. You really could just keep going with whatever takes your fancy. 

Redbor Kale

Speaking of which, I want to highlight this amazing Redbor Kale from Northshire Farm.  Sadly, like purple beans, this brassica will lose its purple hue when cooked, turning to a deep green. But in this dish it is left raw and resplendent in all its purple glory. Left to sit and marinate in the dressing for ten minutes or so, it softens up wonderfully.

roast squash and rootsActually making this salad is a snap: toss squash and diced roots in dressing and roast; marinate kale in a bit more dressing, combine with some thinly sliced radishes and toasted almonds. The only difficult thing is making sure the miso mix doesn’t burn in the oven, for that you just need to keep checking as it will blacken pretty quickly. Other than that, this fall colour spectacular is yours for the making!
Making Roasted Squash and roots with Miso Harissa Dressing

Roast Squash and Roots with Miso Harissa Dressing
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. A medium Delicata Squash
  2. A grapefruit-sized Celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1/2" cubes
  3. A couple of small turnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2" cubes
  4. A few small beets, peeled and cut a little smaller, say 1/4 - 13" pieces
  5. A heavy pour of Olive Oil - about a 1/4 cup
  6. Two heaped Tablespoons of White Miso
  7. About a Teaspoon of Harissa
  8. Juice of half a Lemon
  9. Redbor Kale - a small handful, stems removed and leaves shredded
  10. A watermelon Radish, finely sliced
  11. A small handful of Sliced Almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the pits with a spoon. If you are not using Delicata Squash you will have to peel it too, but fortunately Delicata is a thin skinned fellow and doesn't need this extra step. Cut the squash into half inch slices. Put these in a large mixing bowl with the celeriac and turnips. Keep the beets separate unless you want everything to be pink.
  3. Mix the miso, harissa and olive oil and spoon about half of it into the mixing bowl with the roots. Turn out into a baking dish and put in the oven. Now put the quarantined beets in the bowl and add a spoonful of the miso harissa mix (there should still be some left over). Toss and put in another baking dish or its own separate corner of the one you're using for the squash. Give the roots a stir every now and again; they will take about 25 minutes to cook.
  4. Meanwhile, add the lemon juice to the remaining dressing and toss in the kale. Give it a good mix so it gets coated all over.
  5. Toast the almonds in a dry pan until they are nutty brown and deeply fragrant.
  6. When the roots are cooked, bring everything together and mix gently. The beets will want to stain everything so try to put them in last.
Adapted from Roasted Delicata Squash Salad
Barnes and Hoggetts

Pairing with Roast Squash and Roots

This is a somewhat tricky dish to pair. There is sweetness from the squash, saltiness from the miso and heat from the harissa. I think your best bet here would be to have sparkling wine. I actually wouldn’t go for champagne, but I think I’d rather plump for a Cava, or a Prosecco. This inexpensive Mia Prosecco is a particular favourite of mine. 


Delicata Squash, Watermelon Radish: Paffenroth Gardens

Turnips: Kernan Farm

Celeriac, Beets: S & S.O Produce

Redbor Kale: Northshire Farm

Almonds, Harissa: Sahadi’s

Miso: Sunrise Mart


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