Leah Zoller (CIR Ishikawa-ken, Anamizu, 2009-11) is the editor of The Ishikawa JET Kitchen: Cooking in Japan Without a Fight. A writer and web administrator for The Art of Travel (formerly The Art of Japan: Kanazawa & Discover Kanazawa), she also writes I’ll Make It Myself!, a blog about food culture in Japan, and curates The Rice Cooker Chronicles, a series of essays by JETs and JET alumni on the theme of cooking/eating and being alone in Japan.
New Rice Cooker Chronicles submissions always welcome. Just e-mail it to Leah at jetwit [at] jetwit.com.
Typhoon season has brought the temperature down from the endless blazing days of August, one of the few times of year when Ishikawa isn’t rainy. Because of Mt. Hakusan, the typhoons that slam into west of Japan dissipate into thundershowers over Kanazawa, a sign that fall is near. With all the squash at the market and the slight drop in the heat, I’ve been on a roasting kick lately. Unlike in the winter, when I warm the apartment cooking dinner and hide out in the kitchen area for most of the night, roasting in late summer and not using the AC just means I go hide out in a different room with the fan.
This salad has some of the best of autumn’s flavors and is reminiscent of stuffing but is vegan and gluten free. Apples and kabocha squash roasted with chestnuts and tossed with quinoa (or rice) and sauteed onions and garlic. Simple as that. Because the dish is naturally on the sweet side and enhanced with cinnamon, it would made an excellent side dish in the style of sweet Southern-style side dishes like pineapple stuffing or creamed corn to a savory entree. As an entree, you could serve this chilled on a bed of fresh greens or with some savory sides to balance out your meal.
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