The Stinky Zinque Bowl

Wholesome and nutritious bowl inspired by Zinque

Last month I spent some time in LA. It was special in a number of ways, but I was blown away by the food. Granted, the weather in southern California lends itself to plentiful produce. But, this wasn't austere health food. It was produce driven with a touch of indulgence. There were french fries, sparkling wine and brown rice bowls all in the same place. 

Today's recipe was inspired by a dinner at a wine bar in Venice during my trip. Zinqué was loud and bustling and way cooler than I'm used to. But, tucked amongst the long drink list and posh customers was a humble bowl that felt exactly like my kind of thing. It's updated for you here with a seasonal twist and a touch of the Mediterranean.

Some may wonder why it's a "stinky zinque" bowl? That comes from my dear friend who nicknames things and told me we'd be eating at Stinky Zinque. Funny name for a restaurant, no? Funnier that I didn't bat an eye. 

The Stinky Zinque Bowl
serves 3

The amounts below are guidelines. You can easily make two baking sheets worth of squash and onions to get a couple meals worth. It's also a good place for leftover roasted chicken. The picture shows the very last of cherry tomatoes, but you could do just arugula or add some roasted beets. In other words, this is more of an adjustable formula than an exact recipe. Quinoa would work just as well as brown rice, for example. And if you can't find Delicata, Butternut squash would be equally delicious. 

1 Delicata squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 tsp za'atar
3 large handfuls of arugula + any other additional veggie of choice (roast beets go nicely too)
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
sea salt
3 portions of cooked brown rice
6 oz shredded organic chicken or protein of choice (egg, turkey, lentils, etc.)

Green Tahini Sauce
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup + 2 TBS cold water
juice from one lemon
two garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup cilantro/parsley (chopped finely if making by hand)
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400'. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Chop onion. Toss together with a good drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes until golden in parts and tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with za'atar.

While the squash cooks, make the tahini sauce. In a small bowl combine garlic and lemon juice. Let sit 10 minutes. Strain lemon juice into a small/medium jar pressing on the garlic to extract all the liquid. Discard garlic. Add salt, cumin, and tahini to lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the cold water. If you're making it by hand, it'll clump up for awhile. Just keep whisking vigorously and it'll eventually loosen and get pale and creamy. You may also use a hand blender and beat until smooth. Add cilantro/parsley and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and acidity and adjust as needed. 

In a medium bowl, toss arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon juice. Adjust oil and lemon to taste.  

Fill each bowl with a portion of squash, arugula, brown rice and chicken. Drizzle with green tahini sauce and an extra pinch of za'atar and serve.