While walking through the store the other day, I came across this cute little squash. Having never cooked with delicata squash before, I was intrigued. Immediately I knew I had to take one home with me to experiment with.
When cooking with a new ingredient, especially a vegetable, I like to research it a bit and see what flavor profiles it has so I can then add to it what I think would be a good complement. It’s also nice to learn about the nutritional benefits you’ll get when you eat it. Delicata squash, I learned, is a good source of fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium. And like other yellow and orange vegetables, it’s an excellent source of Vitamin A with 457% of your Daily Recommended Value in just 1 cup (baked)! As you know, Vitamin A is an important antioxidant that, among other things, is essential for keeping your skin young and rejuvenated.
Start by slicing the squash in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds:
From there, cut the squash into 2 inch long pieces and toss with olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 425 for 10 min, turning once halfway through cooking. They should be lightly browned on either side.
Originally, I had a completely different recipe idea, having thought out an elaborate dish with several different components. But sometimes less is more and it’s better to keep things simple so you can focus on the flavor of the vegetables. The mild flavor and creamy texture of the squash complements this salad beautifully. What’s even better is that it is made with just a few simple ingredients so this is easy and accessible for you to make at home. Although this salad is comprised of simple ingredients, it is full of flavor and very satisfying.
Roasted Delicata Squash Salad
For the salad:
1/2 delicata squash, roasted
2 cups spinach
1/3 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup dijon vinaigrette
To make vinaigrette dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt and pepper
For garnish (optional):
red pepper flake
On a plate, arrange the spinach, tomato slices and add a scoop of quinoa
Add the squash slices and drizzle on the dressing
Sprinkle with chopped almonds and red pepper flakes and serve
* Serving this while the squash is still warm wilts the spinach a little bit and makes a nice comforting, hearty meal. However, this can be served as a cold salad as well. I tried both ways and enjoyed them equally!
Do you guys love winter squash as I do? What’s your favorite?
Also by Kathryn: 2 Healthy Vegan Snacks for Work
3 Recipes for Your Labor Day BBQ
Gluten free Gnocchi with Pumpkin Pistachio Pesto
Photo: Kathryn Farrugia