Monday, November 11, 2013

Squash Salad

A friend of mine was able to grow 61 (!) squash in her garden this past summer.  So, it came as no surprise when she asked me if I would like some.  What I didn't know was that I was soon to be the unsuspecting recipient of an entire cloth shopping bag of squash.  Fortunately, though, many of the squash she gave me were delicata squash, which are now my favourite winter squash.  The nice thing about them is that they are small, so you won't always have leftovers, and you don't need to peel the skin off them.

This winter salad was inspired by a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa and feeds four.


2 delicata squash
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of cubed feta cheese
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 clamshell of mixed greens

3/4 cup apple juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp shallots
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Cut the squash into half-moons, toss with oil and salt and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.

3. Roast for 15 minutes, turn and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Browning is good. Let cool to room temperature. Cut each ring into three pieces.

4. In a dry skillet, toast pumpkin seeds until they start to pop. Toss in a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Let cool.

5. To make the dressing, combine apple juice, maple syrup, shallots, and vinegar in a small sauce pan.  Boil and reduce until you have about a 1/4 cup worth.  Remove from heat.  Add mustard, salt, pepper.  Whisk in oil in a thin, steady stream.

6. On a platter, arrange the lettuce, squash, feta, cranberries, and toasted pumpkin seeds.  Drizzle dressing over top.  Enjoy!

Shopping Tips:

1. Delicata squash can be found in some grocery stores in late October, early November.

2. Dried cranberries and sometimes pumpkin seeds can be found in the bulk section, so you don't have to buy more than necessary.


1. If you can't find delicata squash, you can use another hard winter squash such as butternut or kobocha.

2. Instead of feta cheese, you could use chèvre or parmesan.

3. Instead of lettuce, you could use spinach.

4. Instead of pumpkin seeds, you could use walnuts.

5. Instead of maple syrup, you could use honey or brown sugar.


1. Store each component of the salad separately to keep the salad for a couple of days.  I made this the night before and took it to work for a potluck.  I just let the squash and dressing come to room temperature first.

2. You will have extra dressing.  It will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Enjoy this autumn/winter salad for the next couple of months for lunch or as an accompaniment to soup.

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