After spending a weekend in perfect 65 degree weather,

running a perfect race (finishing time of 1:54:53!!!!),

eating perfect food (beignets beignets (and more) beignets!!!),

all with the perfect companion to do it all with


…returning home to gale force winds, hail, 40-feels-like-20-degree-weather…and the undeniable truth that,. ugh YES I still have to wear my ugly pink running hat if I’d like to keep my earlobes….

…was a little bit of a letdown.  Not gonna lie.


Not to mention how monochromatic this city is.

After being awash in NOLA’s technicolor dreams, where every house is a different color – pink, seagreen with purple trim, orange, rose – and there is art on every street, going back to everything in grayscale is a bit hard on the eyes.  (And.The.Soul.)

So I made the greenest of green sauces and put it on the orange-est of orange veggies.  And, with some Louis Armstrong on in the background and the heat on medium-high…I could almost pretend I was back in Louisiana, strolling around the French Quarter, just taking it all in.


This spice-roasted squash with walnut-green harissa is my contribution to California Walnuts’s very first virtual dinner party!! Walnuts are super great for heart health as they contain a ton of omega-3’s as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids…and they taste fabulous too, especially when pureed with some spicy roasted jalapenos and the bright flavors of parsley and lemon, as they are in this green harissa.

This recipe, though it looks fancy, was super easy to throw together.  All it required was tossing the squash in a spice blend that was comprised entirely of easy-to-find ingredients and roasting it, and tossing all the harissa ingredients in a food processor. It really couldn’t be easier, or more delicious.  I paired the squash with quinoa to make to it a complete meal, but this can also be served as a side dish.

And now for the GIVEAWAY!!  As a party gift, Califlornia Walnuts has offered to give a copy of Aida Mollenkamp’s latest cookbook to both me and one of my readers! All you have to do is check out the fun “Chef Menus at Home” walnut-infused recipes on the California Walnuts site and tell me which you would most like to make.  The giveaway will run until next Wednesday!!


One year ago…Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs and Blue Cheese
Three years ago…Southwestern Pizza with Poblanos and Blue Cheese
Four years ago…Curried Lentils and Caramelized Onions with Indian Cardamom Rice

Spice-Roasted Squash with Walnut-Green Harissa
Serves 4-6, adapted from Aida Mollenkamp via California Walnuts


  • 2 medium kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 lb total)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium jalapenos
  • 1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup (1 oz) packed fresh Italian parsley, leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt, to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 475 and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Cut each kabocha squash into 8 lengthwise slices.
  2. Combine squash, olive oil, brown sugar, cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put jalapenos on the pan as well and roast for 25-30 minutes or until squash is tender and browned and jalapenos are soft.
  3. When jalapenos are cool enough to touch, remove their seeds and ribs. Put jalapenos in a food processor along with the spinach, parsley, toasted walnut halves, vegetable broth, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Pulse until pureed, scraping down the sides as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil to help loosen the sauce.
  4. I served this with a cardamom-infused quinoa. To serve, place a bed of quinoa on each place. drizzle with the harissa, top with kabocha slices, and drizzle with more harissa.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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111 Responses to Spice-Roasted Squash with Walnut-Green Harissa {GIVEAWAY} {}

  1. I bet that was a shock to the system. It sounds like an awesome little getaway. Congrats on your time – you still amaze me. This sounds like the perfect way to add a little soul and color to a cold, grey (in relation) surrounding…

  2. 1) This dish looks fabulous!
    2) Congrats on a great race! 🙂
    3) I would love to try making the walnut date smoothie – yummmm!!

  3. bellini says:

    I think it is hard to come back home from a vacation or a new city at any time no matter how relieved we are to sleep in our own bed. From the site the Beef Sliders Stuffed with Walnuts and Gorgonzola jumped out at me.

  4. Audra says:

    Wow congrats on an awesome time on your half! I love NOLA- I bet it was such a let down to come back to this gray dreariness.

    I love that you made something so bright and cheery- that sauce looks to die for!

  5. Way to go, Joanne! Love this dish. Colours are important when eating,too. 🙂 A walnut smoothie enticing right now. One can never have too many walnuts or cookbooks! 🙂

  6. Pam says:

    Congrats on the race, Joanne! This is a great recipe to make, love it with walnuts! I’ve visited NOLA many times and it’s as great as ever.

  7. Your words are making me want to cry!! It’s freezing rain here right now and I’m cold. I’m loving all this green deliciousness. Cheers to being healthy again!

  8. Woot! Congratulations on your half-marathon finish. What a great time!

  9. Foodycat says:

    That looks gorgeous. Definitely pinning it! This is one of the tastiest-looking vegan meals I have seen in ages.

  10. Amy says:

    The first house Paul and I bought together was orange with green trim (sounds so ugly when I write it, but it was super cute), in a development with other homes that had funky colors, each unique. They were highly coveted and some people made a fortune when they sold theirs. We did not because we had to move before the value skyrocketed. Dammit! We recently drove past their with the kids and they said, “your old house looks like a carton!”

    Awesome race time, Joanne! As if it wouldn’t be, paleeze!

  11. Congrats on the race, Joanne! I bet it was hard to leave the nice New Orleans weather and come back to reality. But this dish sounds amazing, I love the harissa!

  12. Congrats on your marathon!
    Would love to win.
    [email protected]
    Here’s one of the recipes I would like to make:
    Chicken Roulade with Walnut and Currant Cornbread Stuffing
    Created By:
    Chef Cindy Pawlcyn

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would love to make Walnut and Brown Butter Tart with Sour Whipped Cream Created By Chef Alex Stratta…..yum!

  14. alicooks3 says:

    Congrats on the race! i’d go for the walnut, gorgonzola, pear bruschetta…yum!

  15. I’m in awe! congrats! this recipe is stunning – wonderful pictures and wonderful tastes!
    Mary x

  16. Juli says:

    Congrats on the race – I just did my first 10K and am always so impressed by those of you who just run for (almost) hours. While it’s the morning and some of the more breakfasty recipes looked really appealing, the Spicy Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage, Roasted Walnuts, Garlic and Broccolini jumped out. Yum!

  17. Congrats on that awesome run! Wow! And this dish is the perfect thing to eat in a grayscale city… Colorful, healthy, and non-pretentious. I want to make that sauce soon!

  18. Nice work on the race lady! This meal looks fabulous!

  19. Congratulations on the race! What perfect weather for NY!! Your spice roasted squash looks amazing!! As for a recipe I would love to make the Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad. It sounds so good!

  20. Congrats on your SUB-2 hour half-marathon! That’s wonderful! I’ve never been to NOLA, but now I want to go!

  21. congrats on your marathon!!! What colors!!! I love it. I would really love to try the chilled zucchini, walnuts and basil soup from the same chef!

  22. Joyti says:

    It sounds like you had a great time and ran a great marathon.
    The dish looks amaizng.

  23. sandra says:

    Umm… a walnut-date smoothie sounds really nice – seasonal, yet cold. I think I’d make that.

    And I wish I’d been in New Orleans, too!

  24. Erica Berman says:

    Okay, next time I’m in New York, I’m coming to your place for dinner and I want you to make this for me please!

  25. SallyBR says:

    Walnut and Pomegranate Braised Chicken. That’s what I want to make. And eat. And then burn off exercising 🙂

    you make me jealous with all your running, I miss it. Please, just keep in mind never EVER push it if you have an injury, no matter how important you think the race is. I hate to preach, but I did not listen and paid a price. Still, I’m good at dancing to other musics and go on P90X-ing life away 😉

    great recipe, by the way – beautiful colors, healthy, it’s got it all…

    (hope the boyfriend is fully recovered by now and keeping you warm)

  26. This dish would cheer anyone up! Love the colors and the flavors.

  27. Ashley Bee says:

    You make NOLA sound so romantic! Gosh do I want to visit there…

  28. I absolutely cannot decide between the walnut date smoothie (we have something similar called a Sharjah Shake back home) and the soup. Or dang, that squash!

  29. Jenn Kendall says:

    congrats on the race! i love how you made this such a colorful dish! sounds super delicious! i just adore walnuts – i use them all the time!

  30. Danielle says:

    I would make his – I love harissa and this sounds fantastic.

  31. Sarah says:

    congrats on the race!! i love sarah copeland’s walnut & feta frittata! so interesting 🙂

  32. Pam says:

    Congrats on your race! It sounds like you had fun with a fellow blogger/runner. The squash looks delicious with the beautiful harissa.

  33. The harissa sounds sooo yummy. Do you have the link for the walnut dinner party?
    And congratulations on the race!

  34. Harissa and Roasted Squash is an interesting combination I would have never thought of. Sounds great!

    I sometimes settle for canned stuff just out of sheer intertia…and look here, you inspire me with your racing and cooking.I swear, the homemade version takes 3 minutes of your time + 10 minutes cooking. So good! And wow, you have a lot of great looking squashes.

  35. Erica says:

    The harissa looks sooo good! love the contrast of colors…beautiful dish!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Asparagus walnut bisque!

    [email protected]

  37. Kari says:

    I’d make the Walnut Cranberry Truffles.

  38. Sara says:

    This dish looks SO tasty…I’m loving that sauce! Wow.
    The walnut recipe I would want to try is the Trout with Toasted Walnut Green Sauce…I love fish with a bright sauce.

  39. i would love to make the Cream Cheese Walnut Wafer Cookies.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Like the Spanish-Style Striped Bass Sandwich with Walnut Harissa. Thanks for the giveaway. k(dot)larsen(at)comcast(dot)net

  41. Jessie says:

    Ooh, the Chocolate Bread, definitely!

    Awesome job on your race, Joanne! I can see how coming back to gray cubes after a weekend in Louisiana would be a bit of a downer. Your kitchen is awash with color, though! I love the look of this roasted squash with bright green harissa 🙂

  42. Beth says:

    Her toasted walnut wheatberry salad looks amazing! And so does your squash. Glad you had a great time in New Orleans!

  43. Ashley says:

    You totally came back to the coldest, windiest, nastiest weather. Shoulda brought some of that sun back with you!! Congrats on kicking that marathon’s ass, btw 🙂

    I think the Lazy Morning Muesli with Apple and Walnut Crumble looks awesome. And this squash that you made! Green Harissa?! Fab.

  44. Congrats on the race! Sounds like a pretty amazing way to kick off your birthday 🙂

  45. “Walnut Green Harissa” you say? I WILL go to the ball! 🙂

  46. Kim N. says:

    I would love to try and make the Smart Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce!

    [email protected]

  47. Karis says:

    I really need to learn more about harissa. I just got some from my brother in Seattle, but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Saw harissa in the title of this recipe, and thought perfect!, but then I don’t see harissa in the ingredient list, so I’m assuming it’s made with a combination of other spices. Like I said, I need to learn more!

  48. Eileen says:

    Congrats on a great race! Yay! That harissa looks wonderful–I bet the hot & spicy herbs and the sweet roasted squash played especially well together. 🙂

  49. Guru Uru says:

    Congratulations my friend, what a great race milestone 😀
    And this harissa looks so tasty!

    Choc Chip Uru

  50. Sofia Clara says:

    love this colourful dish! 🙂

  51. Hotly Spiced says:

    Congratulations on running a great race. I’m glad you were able to escape the cold and grey of NYC for a few days. Your dinner with that beautiful looking sauce (I thought it was pesto or chimichurri at first) is lovely and would go perfectly with the squash xx

  52. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, I would love this. I bet the jalapeños give just the right amount of heat. It is a meal I would thoroughly enjoy.
    I look forward to getting my kitchen back and start cooking again. I am craving healthy food!!
    Blessings my dear and xoxo,Catherine

  53. Kevin says:

    I am really liking the sound of the green harissa and that looks like a tasty meal!

  54. I would love to try making my own homemade nut milk like Aida did in her spring menu.

  55. Kim says:

    NOLA seems like a place that is full of life. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    Love your colorful dish with the walnut-green harissa. So pleasing to the eye!

    I’d love to win the giveaway. I think I’d like to try the walnut-date smoothie. I love dates and I think they’d pair perfectly with the walnuts.

  56. Carol says:

    We still have squash (butternut) from the veggie garden, so I will definitely try today’s recipe.
    Would also like to try the Toasted Walnut Green sauce.

  57. sarah perry says:

    The “Walnut Rosemary Polenta with Tomato Mushroom Saute” sounds wonderful–and I’m always looking for different polenta recipes…

  58. Lora says:

    That green harissa looks plate licking good. I’m with you, love the colors.

  59. Congrats on the race! I think I’m going to take a break from running until the weather gets better. I’m so sick of having to bundle up so much to go outside. This harissa looks beautiful…and springy!

  60. philby b. says:

    The “Beef Sliders Stuffed with California Walnuts and Gorgonzola” look delicious!

  61. Dining Alone says:

    Congrats on your race!! I have never visited New Orleans but it seems like a beautiful place. I have been craving pasta so I would probably make the broccoli walnut noodles, yum.

  62. Jen D. says:

    I would like to make the Pumpkin Walnut Cream Cheese Muffins!

  63. I know where you are coming from…we just returned from a short break in Florida and back to a snowstorm in New Hampshire. The squash with the green sauce will keep my memories of the brilliant tropical foliage and the warm sun of Florida in my mind for a little longer.

  64. Candace says:

    Oh man, does that ever look delicious AND beautiful! While it’s not Cajun or Creole in flavor, it’s full of everything flavorful and spicy just like the food in my home state. Love this. Congratulations on your race! I’m so happy that you did well and enjoyed your visit to the Bayou State. It’s been so long since I’ve been to NOLA, you will have to give me some restaurant recommendations for my trip down. Cafe du Monde is a given though. Love me some beignets and cafe au lait. 🙂

  65. I’m so glad you had such a fantastic time!! Isn’t a trip SO soul-enriching?! 🙂 Congrats on your great running time too. WOOHOOHOO! 🙂

  66. Natalie G says:

    This looks like a delicious and healthy all VEG dish! I must tell you that I made your red lentil dal recipe tonight and it was fantastic, thanks for all your wonderful recipes on here! As for those walnut recipes, I have my eye on the walnut cranberry truffles, yum yum!

  67. My wife is a PharmD student, after vicariously learning so much about how diet affects health, we’re trying to make healthier choices like eating walnuts. I looked over Aida’s recipes (been a fan since her “Ask Aida” show…) and couldn’t believe the variety of recipes, esp. vegetarian ones! I’m always skimping on breakfast, so the Walnut-Date Smoothie caught my eye, esp. since it includes plain yogurt!

  68. Congrats on your race- what an AWESOME time!!! You must be so proud of yourself 🙂

    Uh, this dish looks like my perfect meal. I could eat squash every day. I’ve never made a Harissa before.

  69. Astra Libris says:

    Congratulations on the race!! You were in my home state – hooray!! 🙂
    I’d love to make the luscious sounding walnut torte…

  70. Hannah says:

    But don’t let go of those memories! The weather may be dreary here, but I’m clinging to my memories of Hawaii all the same… Just a little burst of sunshine and warmth made the while winter so much more bearable. Hang on to those feelings and pull them out as needed, don’t be so fast to move on. I’m just glad you had such a great experience to recall. That’s certainly a time to be proud of!

  71. Monet says:

    Welcome back home…but I’m sorry about the cold! And congratulations on the race. But I’m right there with you, it has been miserable the last few days. Thank you for sharing something so warm and delicious.

  72. Blond Duck says:

    Congrats on your race time! 🙂

  73. [email protected] I would like to try the Walnut and Pomegranate Braised Chicken. It sounded really good!

  74. Anonymous says:

    don’t know about you but i’m ready for the winter to be over!!!
    congrats on your race time – good job.

    i love using walnuts – those cinamon stars looked very good also. or i would perhaps use them in granola or even the old stand by of chocolate chip cookies. can’t go wrong w/ those now can one?

    fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

  75. That Girl says:

    I seriously forgot your were just doing the half and I thought you did the full in under 2 hours.

  76. Kari says:

    Congratulations on the race!! That is a fantastic time 😀 I’m sorry the let down was such a let down…but very glad you had a good lead up that meant a let down was even possible 😉

  77. Looks great Joanne. Congratulations on your run. Youll need to eat all your pumpkin now

  78. marie says:

    This looks divine. I never knew what harissa was, I guess it’s a type of pesto huh? Whatever it looks great and I am making it. Congrats on your race, way to go!

  79. Great job on your running and the harissa looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  80. Wish I could still find some pumpkin at this time. This looks fabulous served with nutty green harissa.

  81. laura says:

    That harissa looks amazing and, for the giveaway, I’ve got my eye on the Cream Cheese Walnut Wafer Cookies! (

  82. Congrats on your race!! I always love these quick but deliciously cozy meals you post.

    I’ve been in a salad mood so I’ve been eyeing the shaved zucchini with ricotta and walnuts salad!

  83. teresa says:

    ooooh, i’d make the sliders, i’m such a sucker for a tiny burger.

    it sounds like you had a wonderful couple of days! and congrats on the race, that’s an amazing time! this dish looks delicious, i love the color.

  84. I was *just* over on Katrina’s site reading about your time in New Orleans – it sounds like it was a blast! Congrats on a great race 🙂

    I love the colors in this dish. I haven’t eaten nearly enough squash this winter – guess I’d better remedy that in the next few weeks!

  85. color is always nice, especially in the gloomy days we have been having! great job on that half 🙂

    Kale, Apple, Pancetta, and Walnut Salad with Creamy Walnut Dressing… yes please!! yum.

  86. Julia Menn says:

    I’ve never been into walnuts, but looking at their recipe page practically had me drooling!

    Try the Crunchy Walnut-Crusted Salmon Filets!

  87. Christine says:

    So glad you had a great run and fabulous weather to go with it Joanne. I would find it unbearable to come back the land of grays. That’s why I moved from Chicago to California, just couldn’t face one more winter sky or leafless tree. This is a delicious looking recipe (minus the peppers:)!

  88. Katie says:

    These look like a perfect tribute. I haven’t done enough with squash this winter, so I’m enjoying living vicariously through you!

  89. Your choice for the dinner party looks really yummy! I’ll have to make this one because I love squash of any kind! It was fun to this party because I love being introduced to new blogs too!

  90. Velva says:

    What a delicious healthy meal….Love NOLA but love NYC more.

    Congrats on your great run and the opportunity to enjoy New Orleans.


  91. Not entering the giveaway but just want to say congrats on your race! I don’t know much about race times but it sounds like you did pretty amazing. Love the colour of your harissa too!

  92. Loretta E. says:

    I think the walnut-date smoothie would be amazing!

  93. Cathleen says:

    Oh yum!! What a delicious meal! I am getting very hungry!
    I’m glad you had fun. Good job on the run!!

  94. Kale, Apple, Pancetta, and Walnut Salad with Creamy Walnut Dressing

  95. Karen says:

    Heart healthy banana bread looks delish.
    awesome time on your race!

  96. Congrats on a perfect race! And dude, I really want to see you in a picture with that running hat!

    Btw, this greenest of greens is just gorgeous. I could eat that right out of the bowl.

    And thanks for the awesome giveaway! I would love to make trout with toasted walnut green sauce!

  97. This dish looks really tasty. I’m still working my way through our stash of winter squash and looking for inspiration for the last few. Love the walnut sauce!

  98. Kat says:

    I definitely want to make Sarah Copeland’s shaved zucchini with ricotta and walnuts…sounds like a perfect flavor combo!

  99. Cindy Pawlcyn’s walnut bruschetta with Gorgonzola and pears.

  100. Made this lastnight and it was DELICIOUS! Also – heading to New Orleans next week for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday. I can’t wait to sip sazeracs cozy up to a fresh order of beignets…seeing your instagrams got me even more excited!

  101. What a perfect meal. We make one really similar but use a hazelnut pesto. I can’t wait to try your green harissa and walnut sauce. Wonderful!

  102. Reeni Pisano says:

    Congratulations on the race! This IS pretty and very colorful! I’m still eating tons of squash and need some inspiration. I’d love to make the vegetable and walnut pizza!

  103. P says:

    What an awesome half marathon time…and love the finisher’s medal :D!
    New Orleans is an awesome city! I got to visit the city during my freshman year of high school, soon after Katrina struck. Obviously, some parts of the city were still damaged, but it’s amazing how lively the city still was!

  104. Emily says:

    Congratulation on your awesome time!

  105. Jessica says:

    I would love to try the Walnut Crusted Salmon with Stewed Chickpeas and Kale!

  106. Barb Hayes says:

    I am going to try the Date-Walnut Smoothie (as I happen to have just about everyihing in the pantry already), but I’m totally jazzed about the Orange, Bay and Spice-Brined Walnuts. This sounds like the perfect addition to a spring greens salad, if I don’t eat them all before dinner. Also looking forward to trying your Roasted Squash recipe above. Cheers!

  107. Laura says:

    I want someone to make that for me. Looks delicious. And I love New Orleans too, it is hard to come back from. Having said that, I had the opportunity to join my hubby this summer for a conference trip, and visiting NOLA in my youth in the summer, when I could go out at night and avoid the heat of day, was one thing. Going with kids who can only go out during the day during the summer? Pass! 😀

  108. Johanna GGG says:

    fie fie surely the big apple is full of colour – though I am sure your colourful dish would probably put the city to shame! but I see your point about getting home after being on a high in another city

  109. […] One year ago…Spice-Roasted Squash with Walnut-Green Harissa […]

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