Sunday, October 13

Warm Squash Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing


Last week we went to the local farmers market and were rather overwhelmed with the variety of different squash and other local produce to choose from. No matter where you live, now is the time to buy squash - it is inexpensive, readily available, tasty, and above all, good for you.

  • Squash is loaded with beta carotene, which our bodies use to make vitamin A. Vitamin A helps in bone growth as well as aiding in vision. How much beta carotene found in each squash will depend on the intensity of the colour (think dark orange and green here), so the brighter the squash flesh and skin, the more beta carotene.
  • Winter squash is a good source of potassium, and some studies show that getting more potassium in one's diet may lower the risk of high blood pressure. 
  • Folate -Winter squash is high in flolic acid, an important vitamin for early pregnancy, and should be taken regularly by those planing on becoming pregnant in the near future. 
  • Finally, squash is a source of vitamin C (perfect to ward off those Autumn colds) as well as fiber. 

As squash is already so sweet and tasty, it is best no to mess around with it too much. For this salad I simply chopped different squash into similar sized chunks, lightly roasted them to bring out their natural sweetness, and dressed them in a simple maple balsamic dressing.

P.S. Adam and I will be going to Portland for a little visit next week. If you have suggestions of where to go, what to see, eat, or do, let me know!


Warm Squash Salad

 

Recipe (serves 2)

1 cup carrots, chopped into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes
1 small sweet potato, chopped into 2.5 cm (1 inch) inch cubes
3 cups mixed winter squash, chopped into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes (I used 1 cup butternut and 2 cups kobocha, but there are so many other tasty squash to use - acorn, buttercup, pumpkin, Hokkaido, or hubbard)
1 bunch kale, chopped
Sea salt
Pepper
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

Procedure: 

Heat oven to 220 C (425 F). Toss the sweet potato, squash, and carrots with olive oil, a couple pinches of sea salt, and pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes, stir the vegetables and roast for another 10 minutes, or until soft and golden.
Once vegetables are fully cooked, rinse the chopped kale under water and  place it onto of the squash (rinsing the kale adds moisture and makes sure it won't totally dry out and turn into kale chips) and cook for another 5 minutes, but keep a eye on as they can quickly burn.

Toss the squash/kale mixture with the pumpkin seeds and dress lightly with the maple balsamic dressing (about 2 Tbsp for each person). We topped our salad with some fresh goat cheese, but if you don't each cheese, a handful of walnuts. 

Maple Balsamic Dressing

 

Recipe:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp maple syrup 
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp mustard
Zest and juice of one orange
Pinch sea salt and pepper

Procedure:

Mix the garlic, mustard, maple syrup, orange zest and juice together. Slowly add the olive oil while stirring, to make sure the mixture emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

xox Sophie

6 comments:

  1. I just made this for the first time and it was delicious!! It's also the first time I've ever tried Kale, so thank you for that too. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, this makes me so happy, Sarah. I am delighted you liked it and especially happy you liked the kale. There are so many tasty things you can do with it. I highly recommend checking out recipes for kale chips - they are seriously addictive.

      Delete
  2. Do you eat the green skin of the squash? I always remove it but takes time ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For certain squash, like acorn, butternut, kabocha, and delicata, I do leave the skin on for eating. It adds good flavour, texture, and nutrition (like keeping the skin on a potato for example). And yes, it does save a lot of time. But some squash have a thicker skin that isn't pleasant, such as pumpkin, spaghetti, and hubbard squash, for example.

      Delete