EyeSwoon

Squash just might be my favorite go-to winter veggie. Both sweet and savory, squash can be easily prepared in a variety of ways – whether it be pureed in soups, diced and sautéed, roasted as a side to just about any meal, or even as the star of a winter salad…this is one versatile veg.  And she is certainly a crowd pleaser – adults to children, in my family anyway, find both the texture and flavor irresistible.

Truth be told, though beyond relish butternut squash can be quite challenging to work with as the thick skin can prove pesky to peel and cumbersome to cut through. The naturally sweet delicata squash is far smaller and way easier to prep with an edible skin that eliminates the time consuming peeling process. This winter variety is naturally richer in flavor, creamier in texture and caramelizes when simply roasted on a sheet pan. 

To prepare, simply slice your squash crosswise, remove the seeds and toss with evvo, maple syrup, salt and a touch of hot red pepper and pop in the oven.  Once coupled with the peppery goodness of arugula, the added crunch of pomegranate  and creamy feta – you have yourself a hearty salad that is guaranteed to swoon the palette. 

Oh and did I mention how easy on the eyes this dish is? I mean, I do approach food from an aesthetic point of view and have a mega appreciation for the beauty, texture and colors of nature’s bounty. This dish embodies what, to me, makes a super swoonable meal – simple, quality ingredients that come together to create something quite unique and spectacular!

Winter Squash Salad

Athena Calderone

  • Ingredients

    • 2 delicata squash

      A large handful of arugula – approx 1 ½ cup

      4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (2 T for squash – 2 T for dressing)

      1 tablespoon maple syrup (plus 1 teaspoon for dressing)

      ¼ teaspoon paprika

      ½ teaspoon cumin

      2 tablespoon pepita pumpkin seeds

      ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

      Seeds from 1 pomegranate

      Fresh chopped mint leaves

      Freshly ground pepper

      1 teaspoon sea salt

      1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • THE PREP

    • Preheat over to 400 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

      Slice each delicata squash crosswise into ½” disks and scoop out the seeds.

      Toss the rings with evoo, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Place squash in a single layer and drizzle with maple syrup. 

      Roast for 30-40 minutes turning over after about 15 to 20 minutes.  Squash should be golden brown on both sides.

      While squash roasts, Lightly toast your pepitas and set aside. Making a simple dressing of apple cider vinegar, EVOO, a teaspoon of maple syrup and S + P

      Arrange the arugula on a plate and gently place your squash rings atop.  Scatter your feta, pepitas, mint and pomogranates over the squash salad.  Finish with a drizzle of your cider vinaigrette and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt.

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