Warm Butternut Squash Salad

Poorly lit, but Delicious!

Yes, it IS possible.  A winter squash SALAD.  I found out about this salad from a podcast called Spilled Milk, which is done by Molly of Orangette and Matthew, her audio partner in crime.  They are a pretty funny team if you’re in the right mood.   When listening to their episode on Winter Squash (which I have a lot of now), I heard reference to this salad.

Squash, allspice, garlic, salt, and olive oil, ready for roasting

One thing led to another, and this salad became part of a dinner party menu at our house recently.  Molly’s recipe adds a can of cooked chick peas, which makes this a heartier salad, but I chose to leave them out when I made the salad for the party.  I found that the dressing recipe makes enough for two butternut squashes worth of salad, but your mileage may vary.  (Saving the leftover dressing makes it REALLY easy to make another round of salad on the next day!)

This went over well as dinner party fare (a couple guests insisted that there must be more than one kind of squash), since there is a lot of color, and some complex flavors.  It’s good served warm or cold.  I think I’ll just start making this in larger quantities, since both DH and I love it, and it would be fabulous in a lunch box.

Butternut Squash Salad with Tahini Dressing

modified from Orangette

Yield: 4 servings

Equipment

  • sheet pan
  • parchment paper (optional, but I like easy cleanup)
  • large mixing bowl
  • chef’s knife
  • cutting board
  • measuring spoons
  • small mixing bowl
  • garlic press (optional)

Ingredients – Salad

  • 1 medium butternut squash (2 – 2 ½ lbs), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium garlic clove, pressed
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (or a little less)
  • Salt
  • ¼ of a medium red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

Ingredients – Dressing

  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Do all your peeling, chopping, draining, pressing, etc. of the vegetables while the oven is heating.  Combine the squash, allspice, garlic, olive oil and a good pinch of salt in the large mixing bowl.  Toss all the ingredients together, and turn out onto the sheet pan.
  3. Roast the squash in the oven for 15 to 25 minutes.
  4. While the squash is roasting, mix the dressing ingredients together in the small mixing bowl.
  5. When the squash is just tender (and sizzling), take the pan out of the oven and let the squash cool slightly.
  6. Mix the squash with the onion and cilantro in the large mixing bowl, and add dressing, little by little, since the dressing has very strong flavors.  Serve immediately.
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