I call this my diva salad, because I feel like a movie star with my own personal chef when I eat it. Eric got the idea when we had something similar at Xochi in Houston. It’s a fairly simple salad to make but it does not taste simple in your mouth. When my sister Kathleen tried it for the first time her direct quote was “it’s an explosion of flavors in my mouth!” In order to keep this post PG-rated, I will decline to comment on that statement and leave your imagination to fill in the blanks. Needless to say, it is one scrumptious salad!
If you are lucky enough to find Delicata squash, be sure not to peel as the skin is very thin & edible. A great sub here is ripened Butternut Squash but it is prepared differently as noted below.
1) Preheat oven to 350-F.
2) Place pepitas on a small foil-lined pan and mix with a ~1/4 tsp EVOO and 1/4-tsp sea salt; more oil may be added but keep in mind seeds will release oil when roasted.
3) Bake for 5 min, mix around; return to oven and bake for another 5-min. Remove from oven & set aside. Keep oven on and heat to 425 F for either squash recipe.
2 lb Delicata Squash (scrubbed)
1 T. EVOO
1) Cut squash on bias, scoop out seeds and slice into 3/4″ thick portions. Mix with olive oil & a few pinches of sea salt. Arrange in single layer on two large foil-lined sheets.
2) Bake for 10-min, flip a few over; return to oven and bake for another 10-15 min or ’til fork tender. Remove from oven and immediately place on a platter; allow to cool 5 min.
Alternative – Butternut Squash:
1) Mix olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, & sea salt in large bowl; add in squash cubes, covering well. Arrange in single layer on foil-lined sheet. *Be sure cubes don’t touch or they will become mushy.
2) Bake for ~20-minutes or until cubes are just fork tender (not too soft). Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving atop salad.
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1) Mix all in a small bowl or dressing jar; set aside.
To serve salad, gently massage baby spinach & micro greens (or French greens blend) with a little EVOO. Top with squash slices (or cubed squash), currants (or raisins) and pepitas. Drizzle with vinaigrette.