This is Part II of my Great Summer Salads series. Part I was a Grilled Apple, Walnut, Blue Cheese and Mesclun Greens.
Because winter squash can be stored for so long it is still available in early summer and late spring. I love how sweet it becomes when roasted and wanted to use it to help display the lovely simple flavour of my lettuce. I was able to get a light crust on the pieces of butternut squash which helps them to hold their shape when tossed with the lettuce but also add an extra firm texture.
I added the goat cheese for texture and tang. A simple balsamic vinaigrette brings the recipe together and balances the sweetness of the squash. You can easily roast the squash and make the dressing ahead of time so the salad can be assembled at the last minute.
[print_this]Squash, Goat Cheese and Mesclun Greens Salad
1/2 acorn squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly minced rosemary
1 teaspoon of honey
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 clove garlic, sperm removed, minced
a big pinch salt
freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups mixed mesclun greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
60 grams goat cheese, crumbled
Turn oven on to 400F. Peel the squash and scoop out seeds. Cut into small cubes (about 3/4″ – 1cm square). In a small bowl combine olive oil, a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper, rosemary and honey. (Tip: if you have solid honey, put it in the microwave for a few minutes first.) Whisk together and pour over squash. Toss thoroughly using your hands to make sure each piece of squash is coated. Place squash on a baking sheet. Evenly spread out the squash so they aren’t touching if possible.
When the oven is at 400F put squash in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Check the squash, if it is starting to brown, flip the pieces over, otherwise put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. If your oven is anything like mine it will have hot spots, not every piece of squash needs to be evenly browned. Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Test a piece to make sure it is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.[/print_this]