This Farinata with Red Kuri Squash and Kale is a colorful and vibrant dish for brunch. It’s packed full of nutrients, vitamins and all that good stuff. Vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan-friendly (just leave out the halloumi).
Farinata is delicious, filling and perfect for any brunch. I think of it like a savory crepe, but healthier and richer in taste. This Kale and Red Kuri Squash farinata is a great welcome to the table this time of year because both are currently in season.
If you haven’t had red kuri before, you should. Red kuri squash looks like a small culinary pumpkin, but without the ridges. It’s sometimes called Hokkaido squash or simply Japanese squash. There are two things I love about red kuri squash. First, you don’t need to peel it. The skin is so thin that you can simply roast it and eat it, which means it’s easier to cut and prepare than some other squashes. Second, it has a delicate sweet taste reminiscent of a chestnut, which pairs especially well with savory dishes without overwhelming it. In this dish though, the red kuri complements the earthy flavor of the farinata.
Especially since I’m pregnant now, I’ve been eating farinata even more because of its health benefits. Farinata is made with chickpea flour, also known as gram flour, besan, or garbanzo bean flour. Chickpeas are packed full of good stuff, and with each bite of the farinata, you’re getting a dose of protein, iron and fiber. Since it’s not wheat-based, it’s also gluten-free.
We’re always trying to eat more veggies for breakfast and brunch, and this Kale and Red Kuri Squash Farinata fits the bill. The topping for this farinata is made entirely with vegetables from a local produce delivery scheme in London, CyclingVeg. They deliver a selection of organic seasonal vegetables and fruits to you weekly. The most fun part about it? All the deliveries are made by eco-friendly cyclists.
To inspire you to eat more vegetables, I’m hosting a giveaway for a one-month subscription to weekly deliveries from CyclingVeg. The winner will receive deliveries of a Small Fruit & Veg Crate, which contains a selection of about 6 items and should be enough for 2-3 people. Obviously, this giveaway is only open to London locals who live in CyclingVeg’s delivery zone. Good luck!
- 1⅓ cups (325ml) water
- ¾ cup (175ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for cooking
- 1 cup (125g) chickpea flour (gram flour)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 medium red kuri squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- oil, for cooking
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups (about 7 ounces or 200 grams) mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 bunch (about 14 ounces or 400 grams) green kale, washed and patted dry
- ¼ teaspoon nigella seeds
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 7 ounces (200 grams) halloumi, thickly sliced (optional - leave it out for a vegan recipe)
- Put all the batter ingredients in a blender and combine for about 30 seconds on fast until smooth. Don't worry if there are a few bubbles. Set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Carefully cut red kuri squash in half, remove all seeds and strings. Cut squash into half moons. Toss the cut squash in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until soft.
- In the meantime, trim thick stems off kale and remove the ribs. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then cut them into ribbons crosswise.
- In a medium skillet, heat the cooking oil on medium heat. Add in the onions and cook until just softened, stirring frequently. Add in the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are also softened, stirring frequently. Add in the kale, nigella seeds, and a small ladle of water (about 3 tablespoons worth). Give it a quick stir and then cover (the water will steam the kale) and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the cover and cook, stirring frequently until the water has all evaporated, about 2 minutes.
- If serving with halloumi, transfer the kale mixture to a bowl and set aside. In the same skillet, fry the halloumi on both sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour one-quarter of the batter into the pan and swirl round to cover the base. Fry until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Flip over and fry the other side until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you repeat with the remaining batter.
- Place the farinata on individual plates, and evenly divide the kale and mushroom mixture on top. Evenly divide half of the roasted red kuri squash on top. If using, add on the grilled halloumi. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and salt.