After all that Dijon bechamel and many savory pies, fancy macaroni and cheese [for an outside project] and chocolate chip cookies, the weekend needed some vegetables. Like, now
And when Saturday night rolled around. I took one look at the calendar and almost flipped out. Oh shit. My Secret Recipe Club post must go live on Monday! And I have been so excited about the blog assigned to me this month, Laura Rees’ This is how we eat. She has a slight obsession with the new Homesick Texan cookbook [me too, Laura, me too]. She has a pair of adorable kids. She makes yummy looking apple butter muffins, a wheat loaf [with a stand mixer!], even citrus sangria [I love pinot noir]. And those chipotle pimento stuffed jalapenos? Oh my word. They were at the top of my list.
But you know… Vegetables. I guess I should do the adult thing. Right. So, in the midst of a lot of drooling and many page views, a simple roasted potato salad crossed my radar. The mixture of herbs with vinegar, mustard and a warm, caramelized root vegetable made my mouth water. With it being a typical [lazy] Sunday in my life, my desire to leave the apartment was nonexistent. But a butternut squash did come home with me recently. And parsley and scallions were playing friends together in my vegetable drawer. Did I mention a mostly empty jar of mustard perfect for shaking up a dressing?
This salad is warm, with tender, creamy chunks of sweet squash, tangy with mustard and red wine vinegar mingling together. Herby and green, a little snappy, with the parsley and scallions. And the roasted squash seeds are just perfect, every bite gets a little crunch. It’s comforting, but fresh and exciting. Served in a pretty bowl, colorful and so easy. This salad is everything I want right now. If you think you’re already bored with winter squash, make this salad. It just might change your mind.
roasted winter squash & seed salad
This recipe is great for those who don't like to see food wasted - every edible bit of the winter squash is used. But if roasting your own squash seeds isn't your thing, or you just don't care for the seeds, a handful of another toasted nut or seed would be a welcome substitution. Walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts all come to mind.
- 1 medium winter squash [butternut, acorn, carnival]
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 pinch paprika
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard [or a mostly empty mustard jar]
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 1 green onion
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel your squash with a vegetable peeler, removing the white layer and any green veins. Cut the squash in half and scoop the innards and seeds into a fine mesh strainer. Wash and remove as much of the squash innards as possible. I know it's annoying, but it's worth it. Once clean, spread the seeds out on a paper towel and lightly dry.
- Slice the squash into large chunks - for the butternut squash, I sliced thick half moons and cut each moon into three pieces. Place the squash in a large bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil, along with a large pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Spread out in one layer on a large cookie sheet.
- Place the seeds into the bowl the squash was just in. Add a pinch of paprika, a bit more salt and pepper. Toss the seeds, letting the excess oil, salt and spices coat the seeds. Place the seeds in an even layer on a small pan. Put both pans in the oven. Let cook for 25 minutes, stirring the seeds and flipping the squash only once.
- While the vegetables roast, make the dressing. If you do have a mostly empty jar of mustard, place two tablespoons of oil, the red wine vinegar, garlic powder, parsley and a little salt and pepper into the jar. Cover with the lid and shake until fully combined and emulsified. If a jar isn't available, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl.
- After 25 minutes, remove the squash seeds. An optional step, if you want to further caramelize your squash: broil the squash for five minutes on high.
- Remove the squash from the oven. In a medium bowl, add the warm squash, about half of the dressing, half of the scallions and half of the roasted seeds. Toss to combine. Add the remaining green onions and squash seeds and serve.
- Refrigerate the extra dressing, will last 2-4 weeks.