Plant-based recipes

Holiday roasted squash and burdock root with wild herb pistachio gremolata and pomegranate

December 15, 2021

The holidays can often be a time of eating food that brings comfort to our emotions. Often times those traditional foods cause harm to the body.

The holidays can often be a time of eating food that brings comfort to our emotions. Often times those traditional foods cause harm to the body. A lot of sugar, fat and carbs.

And when we deplete the body, our emotions often suffer even more. So often celebration these days brings to mind eating food that doesn’t serve the body or our mental state. Almost like we can’t have one without the other.

Of course, that’s not true. We CAN eat nourishing vibrant food at any season. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the cooking shows and news shows promoted food that actually supported us during this time of year? One can dream.

This dish is so vibrant it almost vibrates off of the table! The soft comfort of the squash is balanced by the tart pomegranate and savory gremolata.

This year I shared this recipe in Medicine Woman, along with detailed video from my kitchen. In Medicine Women, our members learn to layer true plant medicine every chance they get – in every dish and every beverage. This is where well-being can become vibrant health. Consistent layering of medicine.

This holiday dish is no different. We’re layering it in right along with the amazing flavor.

Let’s dive in first to the medicine of our ingredients.

  • Acorn Squash – promotes healthy skin, balances blood pressure, supports brain, bone and heart
  • Burdock root – supports liver, kidneys, skin and overall immune system
  • Pomegranate – supports the heart, skin, digestion, kidneys, anti-cancer
  • Parsley – supports immunity, cancer protection, high in anti-oxidants, supports heart and bones
  • Cilantro – high in anti-oxidants, helps remove heavy metals from the body
  • Dandelion greens – supports, liver, kidneys and skin
  • Chickweed greens – helps move lymph, detoxify and provides minerals and anti-oxidants
  • Pistachio – high in protein, very high in antioxidants, healthy fat and fiber
  • Lemon Zest – amazing source of vitamin C and anti-oxidants
  • Sea salt – helps stabilize blood pressure, provides minerals and flavor
  • Black pepper – supports digestion and very high in anti-oxidants
  • Olive oil – health-promoting fat, supports the heart, protects against cancer

A moment on burdock root.

I know burdock might not be something you have in your fridge. So why are we adding her in? Burdock grows wild all over North America as well as Asia and other areas of the world. She is a powerful food and medicine in her own right. Her root in particular has been used just like a carrot or other root veggie in Asia for hundreds of years. Now burdock’s medicine is known all over the world. The root can be dug in Spring or Fall and used in the kitchen as well as made into medicine or dried as tea.

I created this recipe in the fall and at the time I was harvesting burdock from our back yard for medicine. Not only for her flavor but particularly for her medicine. Burdock is known for supporting the liver and kidneys. Interested in learning more? We dive deep into her medicine in Medicine Woman. And don’t worry, you can often find her in your organic grocery or international grocery store. If you don’t have her available, you can leave her out of the recipe and it will still be amazingly delicious.

Let’s dive into our recipe

Roasted Veg Ingredients

  • 1 Acorn Squash, sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 cup fresh burdock root, sliced (the bigger pieces roast better)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

Gremolata Ingredients

Gremolata is traditionally an Italian recipe made from finely minced parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. It adds brightness and freshness to dishes like braised meats that might otherwise be a bit heavy or one-note in flavor.

My version layers in additional flavor and medicine, such as ginger and dandelion greens and chickweed greens. If you’re not familiar with these greens, you can leave them out and replace with more parsley and cilantro. Both the dandelion and chickweed can be wild harvested in Spring or Fall (actually for us, they are available Spring, Summer and Fall. Both are amazingly high in minerals and support the body’s ability to remove waste and toxins.

  • 1/4 cup Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Dandelion greens, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Chickweed greens, finely chopped
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oxymel (this is an herbal remedy made by infusing herbs into an apple cider vinegar and honey blend. If you don’t have one on hand, use 1/2 teaspoon of honey and 1/2 teaspoon of ACV.
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Let’s get in the kitchen together

  • Preheat your oven to 425
  • Slice your squash into rings and then into half moons.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper then add your squash and burdock root on the sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and rub so all parts of the squash is covered.
  • Put your squash in the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until soft with the edges becoming a bit crispy
  • While your squash is baking, you can make your gremolata in the food processor or blender. Either will work for this one.
  • Add all ingredients from Parsley to oxymel and pulse until blended coarsley – not smooth. You want it to still be a little chunky.
  • When your squash comes out of the oven, sprinkle over as much gremolata as you like – you will probably have some left over – save for more roasted veggies!
  • Next sprinkle over your pomegranate seeds and perhaps a bit more chopped herbs.
  • Serve with love 🙂

Gaia Blessings and the happiest of holidays to you,

Audrey

Join me on the plant path – sign up for my newsletter here at www.gaiachef.com and I’ll send you a free recipe e-book.

Check out Medicine Woman if you are interested in diving deeper into the role plants play in our overall wellness. Become the Medicine Woman of your home.

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