Delicata Squash and Salad
Only in the last few years have I started getting acquainted with squash. They just did not seem that special. Then I made Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle. Although the photos do not do it justice, it is delicious. It embraces all the taste buds; hot, sour, sweet, and salty. I was happy to have discovered it. Then last year I discovered Delicata squash. I decided to make Stuffed Delicata Squash; well I was in love. I think these Delicatas were created just for me. I think of them as the Goldilocks squash, not to big, not too little, but just right. I did not want the season to go by with out a recipe or two.
Fall has really sneaked up on me. Our weather has been unseasonably hot even for Southern California. The rest of the country is getting out their sweaters, and it has been in the high 90s here. So imagine my surprised when I went to the market and it was filled with fall vegetables. Nooooo…, I am not ready yet. Then I saw Delicatas and I thought well maybe it would not be so awful.
What to do with them? I am still fighting the season so I thought maybe something light like a salad. This is based loosely on Ina’s roasted butternut squash salad. I washed my prewashed salad because Emeril said so. I am sure he knows secrets.
I cut the squash into rings, brushed them with olive oil, and put the rings in the oven. In no time they were soft and in the last few minutes I added some walnuts with a little honey coating. I plumped my dried cranberries with a little soak in some orange juice.
I whipped up a quick dressing. Let me just say….Please don’t buy that stuff in a bottle or jar. Buy some good vinegar and some good olive oil. Use a 3:1 or 2:1 ratio and you are good to go. You can add a little Dijon and minced shallot for a little more depth of flavor. You can add a little orange juice, or lemon, or lime, or a combination. You can add a fresh herbs, or a little Siracha, or hot sauce or what ever suits your taste, make it your own. Just don’t buy a bottle of something that hardly has an expiration date on it. Enough said. Sorry……
One other little thing I learned. I buy these water crackers from Trader Joe’s. They are not much to speak of and are good as a foundation for some good cheese, or even some homemade peanut butter. Well most anything you would want to put on a cracker. I buy them because I have not managed to find a cracker that does not contain soy but these while not too much flavor do work for me. But, right after I made this I shoved a few on parchment and put them in the oven to toast. I wish I had thought of it before photographing, but at last too late, but next time. I recommend if you have the time. Suddenly they do have flavor.
Maybe I should have called this Goldilocks Squash Salad because I think it is just right. I highly recommend you give these little guys a try. Roasted, they are sweet and nutty and flavorful. Oh, and I think they are pretty, but maybe that is just me. Can you tell, I love this little squash?
- Salad greens – washed and dried
- Delicata Squash – deseeded – cut into rings
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1 – 2 tablespoons honey to coat walnuts
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Olive Oil – to brush over squash and for viniagrette
- 1 small shallot – minced
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Mise en Place ~ Gather all ingredients
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Wash and dry salad greens of your choice; refrigerate.
- Wash and slice Delicata squash into rings.
- Brush with olive oil; place on parchment.
- Coat walnuts in honey or brown sugar.
- Just before the squash is fork tender, add walnuts and dried cranberries.
- In a separate bowl, toss greens with a little vinaigrette.
- Plate on a cold plate.
- Top with Delicata squash, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
I am taking this to