Food that feeds the soul, not just fueling the body is one of the main tenets of the show “Taste the Nation . Throughout the food and travel documentary.
Lakshmi visits locations across the US to discover the culinary traditions of various communities of immigrants and explore how this influences their culture. For instance, in this 10 episodes in the series, the second one went in Dearborn, Michigan, to explore “glorious” Middle Eastern food during Ramadan as well as spending an entire period of time in an entire Cambodian group located in Lowell, Massachusetts, sampling different versions of kreung, which is the base sauce for numerous dishes from the region.
“I’m happy with the entire year,” Lakshmi says. “It’s mostly about community and food which are often ignored or don’t receive mainstream, A-grade media attention. And these communities are a lot like the communities of immigrants I lived in as a child.”
Lakshmi often takes inspiration from Indian recipes when coming up with new ideas for ideas. While her variations might change the recipe in a completely different direction, they’ll always bring the same feelings of comfort she attributes to OGs.
For instance one of Lakshmi’s favorite snacks: butternut squash roasted on toast. It’s not a novel recipe, she has recently created it in conjunction with kind snacks–its main ingredient will take her back to a smell of her childhood and the smell of a pot of pumpkin or squash stew cooking in the stove, with plenty of ginger and coconut milk, which her grandmother would cook.
If Lakshmi seeks to instill the same nostalgic, homey feelings, she’ll whip up toast to enjoy as an appetizer or light dinner. Check out the complete recipe as well as ways to prepare to ensure it hits the spot for you as well.
1. Roasting a squash can give you leftovers.
A variety of squash varieties, including acorn, honeynut, and butternut are used to make this soup, according to Lakshmi. She usually stays with butternut due to one factor: “It’s bigger,” she says.
So if you pop one of those big vessels into the oven, you’ll be able to take advantage of the leftovers after your timer rings about an hour after. “I simply pull the meat out after it’s been roasted and then put it in a plastic containers” Lakshmi says.
In the week, following an extended day at the set or following a hard exercise, she can prepare an evening meal when she’s not in the mood to cook. All she needs to do is put two slices of bread into the toaster — her favorite bread for this recipe is sourdough. Dinner can be prepared in a matter of minutes.
“You must give yourself a slack. You should have an idea when you have some time, such as during the weekend, go through your shopping, and then plan out the food that appeals to you. It’s a matter of, what could I do to myself What can I store in the refrigerator?” Lakshmi says. “That means that when I’m hungry when I get home from work when I’m not able to find the the time to cook something up from scratch, there are things I can construct such as that butternut squash.”
2. Try various fixings.
When Lakshmi was pondering for the bread, she just wondered, what would be delicious together? She thought about the sweet taste and texture of mashed potatoes the squash, and then decided that something with a hint of tartness could be a good match. Then she drizzled on the molasses made from pomegranate and was convinced. (Added benefit: “It’s not like a bottle of molasses going to get rotten within your kitchen cupboards,” Lakshmi says-so it’s always ready anytime you’re ready to cook the recipe.)
To top off your toast Lakshmi puts pecans in the mix that provide an extra dose of protein and provide some delicious pleasure to the delicious butternut base.
“I enjoy some texture in my food,” she says. So, when she’s eating something smooth as well as creamy and comforting, like the butternut squash layer “I still want the crunch,” Lakshmi says.
3. Remove it from the table at dinner.
To truly relax A comfortable place is essential. “I treat my bed like my couch,” Lakshmi says.
When Lakshmi returns from the gym over the weekend she’ll shower, wear an outfit of fresh pajamas, and make toast. After that, she’ll get her newspaper–she only has it on Sundays. Then she’ll set the bed beautifully and then get in.
“I just splattered the newspaper across my table and I’ve got some toasts and then I take them and drink a large cup of tea,” Lakshmi says. “And this is a comfort to me.”
How to Make it: Butternut Squash Toasties
- 1. Butternut squash (about 2.5 pounds.)
- Olive oil
- 1 large shallot cut into dices (about one cup)
- 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
- Freshly crushed black pepper
- 6-8 slices of sourdough bread
- 2-3 Tbsp. za’atar
- 1 cup pecans, toast and then chopped into pieces
- 2-3 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
- 1/3 cup the seeds of pomegranate
- 2 serrano chiles, cut thinly into rings
- Heat oven to 425°F. The butternut squash should be cut in two lengthwise, then remove the seeds. Sprinkle the squash with olive oil, and sprinkle sprinkle with salt. Then bake for approximately one hour, 15 minutes or until fork-tender.
- Remove the squash from the oven, and allow it to cool. Scoop the flesh from it and transfer it to an empty bowl, then smash it using an fork. Set aside.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high. Add shallots and cook till clear, approximately 4-5 mins. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, 1.5 tsp. salt kosher, and 1/2 teaspoon. black pepper, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the squash mixture to the mashed and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Remove the squash mixture off the heat source and put it aside.
- Clean the pan with a damp cloth and then heat a bit more olive oil on medium. Slice sourdough bread, and cook each side for a couple of minutes, till golden.
- Remove sourdough that has been toasted from pan, slice slices in half, then place a generous scoop of mixture over the top.
- Sprinkle on the layer of squash using 1/2 teaspoon. Za’atar. Then top it off with 1 Tbsp. pecans. Spread pomegranate molasses on the table and place pieces of serrano chilli ring on the top. Dress with the seeds of pomegranate. Serve warm.