Acorn squash salad with an orange cinnamon viniagrette

Guys I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve posted.

I mean it is summertime, which seems to fly by at lightening speed, and this one was no different.  It’s almost September and my daughter Luna is already 6 months old….agh I can’t believe it.  In 6 months I will be back to my regular job and Luna will be, well I’m not sure where she’ll be yet…

Anyways, back to me not posting.  I think I just needed a break.  I’ve still been putting together recipes, testing them and photographing them; I’ve just had no desire to sit down at my computer at all. But now that my summer vacations are over, cue sad face and tears, it’s time to get back into the swing of things.  I have  a lineup of recipe waiting for their turn in the spotlight and will post at least one a week, hopefully a little more than that.

First one I’m going to post is this salad because honestly, it’s so good and so easy and it is the perfect time for beautiful squash.  Plus, I have been getting so many gorgeous little radishes in my YYC Growers Harvest Box – so it’s nice to have a recipe that incorporates both. When I say easy, I mean easy – there are 5 ingredients + the homemade dressing and outside of roasting the squash the salad takes mere minutes to put together.

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YIELD – 4 side servings

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 3 oz. arugula
  • 4-6 radishes, sliced
  • 1/4 mint leaves roughly chopped (or if they’re small, keep them whole)
  • 1/2 cup shaved manchego*
  • 2 lb. acorn squash
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Orange cinnamon dressing

  • 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

*Special Notes: if you can’t find manchego, you can substitute parmesan, pecorino, gran padano or virtually any hard aged cheese.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F, lay a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet. Slice the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  (You can discard them, or you can set them aside and roast them for a snack later). Slice the squash (skin on) about 1/2″ thick, and lay out on cookie sheet. grab a pastry brush (or the back of a spoon) and brush the squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and put in the oven for 25-30 min or until tender, flipping halfway through.
  2. While the squash is roasting, add all the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Rinse the arugula, pat dry and add to a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Add the chopped mint, then drizzle 1 tbsp of the dressing on top and toss until coated.  Move greens onto your serving platter, and sprinkle the sliced radishes onto the arugula.
  4. Once the squash is done, remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Add to the salad and spread out the shaved manchego.  Then drizzle with remaining dressing and salt and pepper to taste.

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There you go, a perfect, simple and pretty healthy way of enjoying your squash and your radish.

This salad  has beautiful balance with the spicy bite from the arugula and radish the sweetness of the mint, the caramel and acidity of the manchego and the nutty,  buttery flavor of the squash.  Mix that with the orange and cinnamon from the vinaigrette and I’m telling you – it’s nearly perfect.

If you want to make your salad a little more hardy, some great additions would be dried cranberries, or currants and toasted almonds.  And as always, if you don’t have arugula, give your basic salad greens a try or a little spinach and watercress.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, I know it’s been awhile.  But stay tuned as I post a few more in the coming weeks.

Till the next recipe,

 

Kristen xo

 

 

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