I feel like the only food I eat lately is tastings of cake and cookie batter. OK, that's possibly a slight exaggeration but I was feeling like the fresh greens took a back seat once the temperature started dipping.
My Saturday morning trip to the farmer's market yielded plenty of great roasting veggies but not so much in the way of something crisp for lunch. Until, that is, I was filling my basket with honeynut squash. They look exactly like baby butternuts and to me, they taste the same. Supposedly they're a bit sweeter than their big daddies but I love all squash so it doesn't matter. I just can't pass their adorable look without buying a few.
But as I was mentally thinking of recipes I thought that their diminutive size was perfect for an individual bowl of salad. A little warm and roasted from the squash, a little crisp from some salad greens, some crunch from a few candied pecans and some refreshing pops of pomegranate arils. Tahini and squash are a great match so I gave this a tahini dressing and served up a snazzy desk lunch for myself. It lessens some of the cookie dough guilt. Enjoy!
Yield: 4 Servings
Roasted Honeynut Squash Salad with Candied Pecans
Prep time: 15 MCook time: 40 MTotal time: 55 M
Recipe for salad served inside a roasted honeynut squash and topped with pomegranate arils, candied pecans and a tahini dressing.
For the Tahini Dressing:
- 1 Clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 1/4 Cup sesame paste
- 5 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper to taste
For the Candied Pecans:
- 1/2 Cup whole pecans
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
For the Salad:
- 2 Butternut squash
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Cups salad greens
- Tahini dressing
- Candied pecans
- 1/4 Cup pomegranate arils
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with the olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Remove from the oven but leave it on.
- In a bowl, toss the pecan with the melted butter, sugar and salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant. Be careful not to burn them.
- Make the tahini dressing by whisking together the garlic, sesame paste, water, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- To serve, scoop some of the flesh out of each squash half and combine it with the salad greens. Place about a half cup of greens and squash into each squash half, drizzle on the tahini dressing and top with some pomegranate arils and candied pecans.
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