Roasted Acorn Squash with Black Lentils

Roasted Acorn Squash with Black Lentils

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6 (1-inch) rings of hollowed-out acorn squash

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ cup finely chopped onion

½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400°.

Toss the squash with the olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper and transfer to sheet pan. Roast until fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium stockpot over high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, lentils, cumin and paprika. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes, then stir in the remaining salt and pepper.


Zhoug (Optional Garnish)

2 jalapeños, destemmed and seeded

2 tablespoons chopped white onion

½ cup cilantro

½ cup parsley

½ teaspoon cumin

2 cloves garlic

3 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until smooth. Transfer to airtight container and store in fridge for up to 3 days.

Warm Up with a Wadi Rum Cocktail

By Tim Ebner, photography by Jennifer Chase

This Wadi Rum cocktail can be made in minutes and combines all the elements of a stiff drink sure to get you through the dark and cold days of winter.

This Wadi Rum cocktail can be made in minutes and combines all the elements of a stiff drink sure to get you through the dark and cold days of winter.

In the arid and wild terrain of the southern Jordanian desert is where you’ll find a protected land called Wadi Rum.

Most people might know it as the setting of Lawrence of Arabia, the Oscar-winning 1962 film starring Peter O’Toole. In history, it’s where Colonel T.E. Lawrence led Arab forces north into Syria, eventually defeating the Ottomans and overtaking Damascus during World War I.

But to Chris Hassaan Francke, owner of the Green Zone in Adams Morgan, Wadi Rum is more than just a movie set or historical landmark. It’s an experience that evokes a cocktail inspired by a camping trip he once took with his father.

“About six years ago, I was in Beirut visiting family, and my dad and I decided to do a side trip, spending two nights in Wadi Rum,” Francke says. “It was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever been on because at night, you’re essentially sleeping in slightly modernized Bedouin tents. And every night before bed, we met in a central tent to take in a fire, eat dinner and drink tea.”

Drinking tea or coffee is how most Bedouin tribes welcome in their guests. They are nomadic people who serve hot beverages out of necessity—temperatures in Wadi Rum drop to near freezing most nights. The ritual of tea is something Francke says he’ll never forget.

“The tea there is like unlike anything else because it’s not just black tea, there’s also sage, and it’s served sweet,” he says. “Each night by the campfire, there would be just endless pots of tea going over the fire.”

Closer to home this type of tea might be harder to find. Francke says you can buy sage tea at local Middle Eastern markets, like Mediterranean Bakery in Alexandria or Gourmet Basket in McLean. In Jordan, the tea is known as maramiyya and in Lebanon, it’s called qass’een.

Or you can visit the Green Zone this winter, where sage tea is combined into a cocktail with smoky-sweet flavors conjuring up Francke’s Bedouin tent experience.

“It’s the same sage tea plus black tea and lapsang souchong, which is a smoked tea that’s reminiscent of sitting around a campfire,” Francke says. “And because it’s Wadi Rum, of course, we had to add some rum in there too.”

Francke prefers a light-bodied rum, like Don Q Añejo or Mount Gay Eclipse, but if you want to substitute a local craft distillery, try Cotton & Reed’s dry-spiced rum.

The drink can be made in minutes and combines all the elements of a stiff drink sure to get you through the dark and cold days of winter.

“It’s boozy, it’s hot, it’s smoky and it’s a little bit sweet,” Francke says. “What more do you want in a wintertime drink?”

 

Ingredients for the Wadi Rum cocktail:

●      6 ounces water

●      1 tablespoon loose Ceylon black tea

●      1 teaspoon lapsang souchong tea

●      1 teaspoon Levantine sage

●      ½ ounce simple syrup

●      1½ ounces light aged rum

How to make the Wadi Rum cocktail:

Add 6 ounces of water to a saucepan and add the teas and sage. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Or add the tea and sage to a teakettle and steep with boiling water for 5 minutes (the latter will produce a lighter tea).

Rinse a heat-proof glass or mug with hot water. Then, add the syrup and rum—such as Don Q Añejo or Mount Gay Eclipse—and top off with hot tea, straining out the leaves. Stir briefly before serving.

Winter Rosemary Galette with Squash, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Recipe and photos by Tyler Westerfield

Winter Rosemary Galette with Squash, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Winter Rosemary Galette with Squash, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Winter. The perfect time to enjoy the flavors of this rustic savory galette, with prosciutto that crisps under the oven’s heat, its natural salty flavor a counterpoint to the taste of fresh celery, all balancing the richness of the seasonal filling. Serve warm with a salad of lightly dressed kale and hearty lettuces. A glass of Grüner Veltliner or dry Riesling? Perfection.

Winter Rosemary Galette with Squash, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Serves 4, or slice in smaller wedges as an appetizer.

 

Rosemary Pastry Crust

This recipe, adapted from Farm Journal Cookbook, makes 2 crusts, giving you 1 to freeze for later.

2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary

¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

½ cup whole milk

1 egg yolk

 

Sift together the flour, salt and rosemary in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the milk and the egg yolk, then slowly add to flour until a soft dough forms; the dough should hold together when a piece is squeezed in your hand. Drop dough onto a floured surface, shape into a disk, divide the disk in half and shape the 2 halves into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap, then chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

 

Galette Filling

1 small butternut squash (neck only), peeled and cut into ⅛-inch slices

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 ounces goat cheese, softened

1 egg

½ teaspoon milk

2 ounces prosciutto

Sea salt

6–8 fresh celery leaves

 

Preheat oven to 400°.

Make the filling while the dough chills. Combine the squash, olive oil, salt and pepper. Combine the honey and maple syrup in a separate container.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unwrap 1 pastry and roll out on a floured surface to a roughly 11-inch diameter; place pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Spread goat cheese on pastry, leaving a 1½-inch border. Drizzle half the honey/syrup over the goat cheese. Arrange the squash slices over the goat cheese in a circular pattern. Fold over the sides of the pastry, wrapping pieces of the pastry over itself to seal. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Combine the egg and milk; brush on pastry and bake 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the prosciutto over the squash; bake for an additional 10–12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and prosciutto is slightly crisp.

Cool the galette for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt and place celery leaves on galette. Finish by drizzling the galette with the remaining honey syrup mixture. Cut into wedges and enjoy warm.