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