Roasted Zuccuri and Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Tahini Yogurt

This hearty, delicious Roasted Zuccuri and Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Tahini Yogurt is inspired by the flavors of North Africa. Zucurri is one of our favorite vegetables of all Japanese produce. It is a type of kabocha squash that is similar to a chestnut in sweetness and has a cake like texture. Kale and roasted squash pair perfectly with the warming spices of this dish.

This roasted kabocha recipe somehow conveys the flavor of a crisp fall day and our winter salad is the perfect fall recipe. To serve, Chef Toni Sakaguchi from The Culinary Institute of America smears the Tahini Yogurt on a platter and places the roasted zuccuri and kale salad on top. 



  1. Combine the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and water in a food processor.
  2. Process until smooth then slowly pour in the extra-virgin olive oil to emulsify.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. Combine the harissa, lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F
  2. Toss the Zuccuri with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Roast until golden brown and tender, approximately 20 - 30 minutes. Turn the zuccuri halfway through the cooking process.
  4. Toss the warm Zuccuri with Harissa vinaigrette.

To Serve:

  1. Place the kale in a large bowl, and season with salt.
  2. Gently massage the kale to tenderize.
  3. Add the chickpeas, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and toss with a spoonful of harissa vinaigrette.
  4. Gently combine the Zuccuri and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  5. Smear the Tahini Yogurt on a platter. Place the Zuccuri mixture on top.



Learn more about Zuccuri and other Japanese vegetables on our website. 

Buy Zuccuri seeds from the Tokita Seed Company.

This dish was created for the Oishii Nippon Project in collaboration with the Culinary Institute of America. Follow link for a video demonstration and more ONP recipes. 


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Makes 6-8 servings


2 cups Kale, chopped
1 cup Chickpeas, cooked and drained
2 Tbsp Red onion, diced
1/2 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved

for Tahini Yogurt

4 Tbsp Tahini
4 Tbsp Plain Greek yogurt
4 Tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Garlic
1 pinch Ground cumin
3 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp EVOO
Ground black pepper

for Harissa Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp Harissa
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 Tbsp EVOO

for Zuccuri

1 lb Zuccuri, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 oz Olive oil
Ground black pepper
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