28 October 2010

Delicata Squash Salad

For two weeks now I've received baby yellow squash from my CSA, so pretty and small in size they looked every bit like delicate summer squash. I wasn't sure what to do with them. They sat in my crisper drawer, ignored, while I tended to the more needy and time sensitive greens that keep me on my toes each week. Then, week two, squash multiplying like gremlins, I realized I needed to figure out something. I remembered a gorgeous fall salad I'd had once at a place on Mulberry Street in lower Manhattan -- a combination of salad greens, roasted squash, and goat cheese. I think the original had dried cranberries, but without any on hand the salad was hearty and satisfying enough.
I peeled and roasted one of the squash, while the other I halved, de-seeded and wrapped in tin foil after dousing with a bit of olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  The roasted squash was used in the salad, while I blended the foil covered squash with another wedge of soft goat cheese, a dash of olive oil and a bit more salt to make a nice dip for crackers and vegetables. I realized after I had consumed the salad that it would have been useful to have taken some photos of the baby squashes themselves. Whoops. Instead here is link for identifying them and some helpful tips on other preparation.

Delicata Squash and Arugula Salad
Serves 2

1 medium sized squash
1 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
Medium bunch of arugula, washed and dried and torn into smaller pieces (or alternately, 2-3 big handfuls of baby arugula)
olive oil
salt and pepper
3 heaping tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Dressing: 
1 heaping teaspoon whole grain or Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Peel the thin skin away from the outside of the whole squash with a vegetable peeler. (The skin on Delicata squash is thinner than Butternut or Acorn) Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 25-30 minutes until slightly browned around edges. During the last 5 minutes of roasting the squash, add pumpkin seeds to the pan with the squash to toast lightly.  

Whisk together the Dressing ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold your greens. Once everything is emulsified, add the arugula and toss to coat. Divide the greens between two salad plates, top with squash, goat cheese, and pumpkin seeds. Easy-peasy. 

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