Spiced Mung Beans with Caramelized Onion + Roasted Kabocha
2-pound kabocha squash, stem and base trimmed, halved lengthwise, and seeds removed; halves cut into 1-inch wedges (can substitute buttercup or acorn squash)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1.5 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 jalapeno, minced (including seeds)
1 cup sprouted and dried mung beans (or whole dried mung beans, soaked in water for 6 to 8 hours and drained)
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (or to taste)
zest and juice of 1 lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro (plus a few leaves for garnish)
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cups baby greens (spinach, arugula, etc)
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds, to garnish (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 400F.
Kabocha: In a large bowl combine kabocha squash, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat the squash. Transfer squash to a baking sheet, arranging the wedges in a single layer. Cook until tender and lightly browned around the edges, about 40 minutes, turning pieces halfway through.
Mung beans: Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt and mung beans. Boil for 5 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for about 8 minutes, covered, until the beans are tender but retain some bite. (If using whole, soaked mung beans, you may need to cook the beans longer. Test as you go.) Drain excess water and set beans aside.
Caramelized onions: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add cumin, caraway, and fennel seeds, stirring for a few minutes until they start to pop. Add onion and a pinch of salt; cook until the onion softens and turns a deep brown color, 12 to 15 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and jalapeno, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Pan-roasted tomatoes: After cooking onion mixture, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same skillet and cook the tomatoes, with a pinch of salt, over medium-high heat until they burst and caramelize, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Putting it together: While the tomatoes cook, add the mung beans to the onion mixture. Add chile flakes, lemon zest and juice, and cilantro, tossing gently to combine. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
To serve: arrange 3 or 4 kabocha wedges on each plate; place a small handful of greens in the center. Place a large scoop (about 1/2 cup) of the mung bean mixture atop the greens. Garnish with roasted tomatoes, toasted nuts or seeds, cilantro leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm.