Dinner Plans Solved!
The last 365 days and counting have taken a toll on us all. The task of having to navigate a world full of uncertainty and unrest can be daunting. In addition to many people losing jobs, some have had to take on the added role of caregiver, teacher and chef. With many of our beloved local restaurants closed due to statewide restrictions, a lot of us have had to put on our aprons and tackle new recipes. Healthy Winter Squash Recipe
Nobody becomes an excellent chef overnight—but with a little guidance, we can create a healthy gourmet dish that is sure to please your palate. We recruited some assistance from Chef Riley Huddleston, director of food and beverage and executive chef partner of Lido House in Newport Beach, to help us expand our culinary repertoire.
“We’ve been fortunate…though the pandemic has caused us to shut down, we’ve spent this time creating a new menu, hoping to come back bigger and better than before—whenever that may be.”—Chef Huddleston
Chef Huddleston’s grilled winter squash with oregano Greek yogurt is a mouthwatering dish that can be easily recreated in your own kitchen. While we were unable to be in the kitchen with Chef Huddleston as the dish was being created due to proper social distancing, the end result is texturally wonderful with bold flavors. “Since we’re in a sort of limbo in seasonality where it’s not quite spring but not winter anymore in Southern California, I wanted to deliver something healthy, clean, shareable and something you can easily replicate at home. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, and you can substitute some of the homemade ingredients with store-bought options.”
Chef Huddleston’s winter squash recipe is his take on a healthy and elevated alternative to your typical “chips and dip” situation. “Squash is filled with antioxidants and keratin; pomegranate is full of vitamins, and Greek yogurt and toasted almonds are good sources of positive fats,” says Chef Huddleston, breaking down what makes this dish great.
The ingredients within the dish fit into many of the most popular health-conscious diets, making it safe to enjoy if you’re restricted to keto-friendly, low-carb, positive fats or vegetarian options.
The textures and flavors within this grilled squash appetizer are great because it brings a sort of melodrama into this medley of fruits, vegetables, spices and yogurt to create a satisfying snack you can share. There are nuances of sweetness in the spices, a great vibrancy within the chutney and pairing it all with the dry-roasted squash brings it all together. Chef Huddleston assures that there isn’t any specially trained skill or mastery needed to put this together at home. “While this all seems very complex—and there’s a lot going on—it’s very simple to make. You just need a knife, a blender and an oven!”
What You’ll Need Healthy Winter Squash Recipe
Roasted Squash Ingredients:
1 Kabocha Squash
2 pinches Kosher Salt
Almond & Pomegranate Dressing Ingredients:
½ cup Almonds (toasted)
½ cup Pomegranate Seeds
4 each Grilled Spring Onion Tops (or green onions)
½ each Orange Zest
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Oregano Pressed Yogurt Ingredients:
1 cup Greek Yogurt
2 tsp Dried Oregano
Za’atar Spice (optional)
How to Make Healthy Winter Squash Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the squash into wedges and toss in enough olive oil to lightly coat.
- Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven on a greased baking tray. Roast for 25-35 minutes.
- For the dressing, place all six ingredients in a blender and chop until texture is coarse. To create the oregano pressed yogurt, mix together the Greek yogurt, dried oregano and za’atar spice.
- Hang in the fridge for 12 hours. Plate the squash and top with almond & pomegranate dressing and oregano pressed yogurt. Enjoy!
Meet the Chef Healthy Winter Squash Recipe
Prior to his position at Lido House, Chef Riley Huddleston’s 14-year journey into food has taken him all throughout the United States and beyond, beginning with culinary school in the Carribean. He has honed his craft in some of the finest restaurants in Manhattan, Seattle and Idaho before becoming the Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage at some of Chicago’s finest independent restaurants and hotel groups. Now, Chef Huddleston brings his culinary experience to Lido House, driving the hotel’s food and beverage concepts that include The Mayor’s Table, Topside Rooftop Bar and Lounge and Crew Coffee + Cremerie.
Photography Provided By: Mayor’s Table