Thursday, October 26, 2006

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

Once upon a time, before the blogs roamed this planet, I used to write about food on my little foodadventures.org site. There were no templates, and photography was scarce and scary, but the recipes were good, and once in a while I’d get comments the old fashioned way known as e-mail. The most popular recipes in those good old days were Jason’s 4 Minute Tuna and Roasted Delicata Squash Salad.

I just made it again last night with the squash and lettuce from our CSA. For a while I was wondering if this salad could ever be made in New England with all local ingredients. It seemed that the lettuces were only available in the summer, the squash in the fall, and never the two would meet. But yesterday, we got both. It was a sturdier lettuce, not as fragile as mixed baby greens I usually used, and it matched the texture of delicata even better.

Serves 4

For the squash:
2 Lb Delicata Squash (2 medium)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the dressing:
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
8 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
Finely shaved parmesan for garnish (optional)

To cook squash:
  1. Place a rack into the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Do not peel. Cut the squash into 3/4" cubes. Place the cubes in large baking sheet that can hold the squash in one layer and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast squash for 20 minutes. Stir the squash, and roast another 10-15 minutes or until very tender and starting to brown. Cool until warm (about 15 minutes). While squash cools, make the salad.
To make dressing:
  1. In a small bowl mix lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard with a fork until well blended.
  2. Pour the olive oil in a slow steady stream whisking constantly. Whisk until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Tips on dressing: This is a basic vinaigrette dressing. It is made by combining 1 part acid with 3 parts oil. I find the combination of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar to be particularly good, but you can use any white wine vinegar or lemon juice for the acid. The mustard helps the dressing emulsify (keeps oil and acid from separating). If you don't have Dijon mustard, just skip it (do NOT use yellow mustard).

To make salad:
  1. Put the greens into a big bowl and toss with the dressing and salt to taste. Only use as much dressing as you need to coat the greens lightly (otherwise the acid in the dressing will wilt them).
  2. Arrange salad on plates, top with roasted squash.
  3. Sprinkle with dried cranberries, pine nuts, and parmesan.

5 comments:

bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Looks pretty nice Helen! Good choice on to make thise salad again!

Kalyn said...

Oh yes. This does look great. I love this type of squash, along with butternut. Saving this recipe right now.

Mandira said...

Wow, the salad looks super delicious. First time here, you have a great collection of recipes!

Helen said...

Hi Bea, Kalyn, and Mandira,

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
-Helen

Ian said...

Wow. Loved this. Squash flavors (butternut, pumpkin, kabocha) often taste similar to me, but the Delicata is a flavor apart and a step above in my opinion.

I roasted the cubed squash in Avacado Oil, and added raisins instead of cranberries to the salad of mixed greens and baby spinach leaves. I can't find cranberries without sugar added in most places! Drives me crazy.

Didn't add the dressing to the salad as I thought Olive Oil, salt, pepper were enough with the squash and raisins.

Yum!!