Miso Delicata and Leek Rice Bowl

The squash and leeks are roasted while the spinach is cooked separately and then both are combined over sushi rice.

Prepare 1 C. sushi rice or other short-grain rice according to the directions. (Try Robbins Rice Company Black Fox brand, grown locally in the Sacramento Valley).

Cut the leaves off 1-2 leeks, then slice the shanks in half lengthwise and rinse carefully.  Slice the leeks in julienne strips 2 inches long.

Slice 2 small or 1 large Delicata squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Slice the squash crosswise in half inch widths.

Toss the leeks and squash in a mixture of 2 T. olive oil and 2 T. barley or other dark miso plus black pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on 1 or 2 baking sheets.

Roast the vegetables at 400 degrees until the squash is brown on one side, then use a tongs to flip the slices.  Sprinkle the pan with 2 T. sesame seeds and continue cooking until the squash is nicely browned and the leeks are completely caramelized.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain 4 C. spinach leaves.  Boil a pot of water and pour it over the spinach, then use a tongs to make sure all the leaves are wilted.  Rinse with cold water until cool, then use your hands to squeeze all the water out.

Make a dressing with 1 t. sesame oil, 1 T. olive oil, 1 T. minced fresh ginger, plus black pepper.  Toss the dressing with the spinach.  Add 1 seeded and cored sweet pepper, very thinly sliced.

Serve the vegetables atop a scoop of rice.  Drizzle with Ponzu sauce and/or your favorite chile sauce.

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