Meatless Monday: Roasted Squash Salad


This is the time of year when many of us start to go bonkers. Spring, at least on the books, is just 18 days away, but as I type these words, the eastern half of the country is gearing up for or getting walloped by major snowfall.


(Kim O'Donnel)

It’s the ultimate tease by Mother Nature; one minute, she gifts us with a popping crocus, the next minute she’s howling winds of blizzard proportions.

In the fresh produce department, that means baby greens and asparagus are still weeks – -- and for some in colder climes -- months away. And those harvest-hued root veggies that took us through Thanksgiving, the winter holidays and greeted us into the New Year? The luster has worn off like a cheap suit, my friends. We need something -- anything -- to help bridge winter and the promise of spring, and that is precisely why I’ve dished up this pretty looking salad, from London-based food writer Diana Henry. In her new book, “Pure, Simple Cooking,” she pairs roasted winter squash with mixed greens, a kicky vinaigrette, olives and feta. Simple enough, but it’s one of those combos that makes you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

If nothing else, this bowl of tricks should help you get through the next few weeks. Hang in there!

Have you signed up for the Eating Down the Fridge challenge? The fun starts next Monday, March 9; e-mail me and I'll include your name on the EDF Honor Roll.


Roasted Squash, Feta and Black Olive Salad
From “Pure, Simple Cooking” by Diana Henry
KOD notes in parentheses

Ingredients
1 2 ¼ pound butternut squash (I used equal amounts delicata squash)
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 fresh red chile, halved, seeded and finely diced (You could also use red pepper flakes)
About 2 ¼ cups salad greens of your choice
6 ounces feta cheese, broken into chunks
¼ cup pitted black olives

Dressing
1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
A smidgen of Dijon mustard (About ¼ teaspoon)
Salt and pepper to taste
5 tablespoons olive oil
Generous pinch of granulated sugar

Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve squash and remove seeds. Cut into slices lengthwise (to the best of your ability) about ½ inch thick and place on a baking tray. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle salt, pepper and sugar, making sure squash is coated on both sides.

Roast for 25 minutes, or until fork tender. Sprinkle chile over squash during last 10 minutes of roasting time. Remove squash from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Make dressing: In a small bowl or cup, combine vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper, then whisk in olive oil with a fork, Add a little sugar, then taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Toss greens with two-thirds of dressing in a broad, shallow bowl. Place squash, feta and olives on top. Drizzle on remaining dressing; toss to combine.

Serves four as a main course.

By Kim ODonnel |  March 2, 2009; 7:00 AM ET Meatless Monday
Previous: White Bread, Three Ways: Part I | Next: White Bread, Three Ways: Part II

Comments

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Hi Kim- Have recently been converted to the very easy method for cutting winter squash - microwave it first for about 3-5 minutes. It isn't cooked in that time, but is slightly softer and so MUCH easier to cut.
We are indeed buried in snow in the NE-great day for cooking this with a soup for supper.
Newton Mom

Posted by: frolis | March 2, 2009 9:08 AM

Thank you for a great idea for dinner tonight! I was just trying to come up with a menu using what I've got on hand and this fits the bill.

Down here in California our farmers' market on Saturday was teeming with asparagus, but we ate it all over the weekend.

Posted by: esleigh | March 2, 2009 1:09 PM

So THAT'S what I should have done with last week's greens. :-) Still working through the green gumbo.

For those with kids who are finicky veggie eaters (we have a refusenik), spinach cheese pie goes down very well.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 2, 2009 2:49 PM

This looks delicious! And delicata is so great and easier to deal with than butternut squash.

Posted by: maggie-pithyandcleaver | March 3, 2009 12:36 PM

I just printed out the delicious-looking Roasted Squash Salad recipe from Meatless Mondays. It was 3 pages long, including the entire article, the recipe, and your blog...
Could you please provide a way to click on and print the recipe only on a single page? Thanks loads! Jean

Posted by: omaJean | March 3, 2009 3:16 PM

For omaJean & others with the frustrating printing problem, the way I get around it is to cut and paste just the section I want on a blank Word page & then print that.

Thank you Kim for the many print-worthy & cook-worthy recipes!

Posted by: bellaboa | March 3, 2009 9:20 PM

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