Cheerio! I’m writing from my sister’s flat in London sipping on a mimosa before we all (Paul, my sister Emily, my brother-in-law Andy, and I) head back to Heathrow and hop on the long flight to Vancouver. While we’re in the air, our baby sister, Pamela, is going to be having reconstructive surgery on her hip. I’m hoping we land to some reassuring news on that front.
Before we go up in the air, I wanted to leave you with one last recipe you might want to add to your holiday table.
This is less a recipe than a suggestion. Carnival squash (or acorn squash, or whatever kind of squash you prefer) is quartered, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, then roasted till tender and golden. It’s seeds are roasted along side, and a simple green salad is tossed up while the squash is in the oven. The roasted squash quarters become a receiving vessel for the salad, which is topped with the crunchy roasted seeds, and some crumbles of cheese (I had home made ricotta in my freezer).
The dish that comes together is simple, elegant, and all kinds of nourishing. Its also a nice break from some of the heavier holiday fare you may be indulging in. Next time from the west coast. Until then, enjoy this salad.
Two years ago: Brown Sugar Shortbread
Roasted Carnival Squash and Salad Recipe:
You can use any sort of winter squash you like. I happily inherited this carnival squash when it had served it’s purpose as a festive decoration. Acorn squash are nearly impossible to find where I live, but they would be my first choice for this salad if you can’t find a carnival squash. As for cheese, I used crumbles of home made ricotta which I had on hand, but any sort of crumbly cheese would do. A soft goat cheese or feta would be just fine.
Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main
1 medium large carnival squash
seeds from the squash
olive oil, salt, and pepper
4 cups of assorted seasonal greens
1/2 cup crumbled soft cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.
Split the squash in half and scrape the seeds out. Split the halves in to quarters, brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set on the lined baking sheet and slide into the oven to roast for about 10 minutes.
Rinse the squash seeds under water, pat dry, then put them in a bowl and drizzle with some olive oil. Remove the squash from the oven, add the seeds to the baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and replace in the oven. Roast everything for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the squash is golden and tender and the seeds are golden and crisp.
While the squash is roasting, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss the dressing with the greens.
When the squash is done, remove from the oven and set onto serving plates. Spoon the salad into the hollow of the squash, then sprinkle with roasted seeds and crumbles of cheese. Serve.
Winter squash are rich in carotenoids, a precursor to vitamin A, and are a good source of vitamin C. It is also a very good source of dietary fiber. The seeds, when consumed in moderation, are a great source of healthy oils including linoleic acid (polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic acid (the same monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil).
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012
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