Most food bloggers are busy with festive recipes*, so I'm going against the trend today by posting a salad recipe for December. Earlier this week NAH and I found ourselves overstuffed from our respective Christmas parties, so we were happy to have a simple salad the day after.
I was inspired to create this recipe back in October, after finding a delicious squash salad on the menu when I visited the Yeo Valley Organic garden. Their version had butter beans which I don't have, so I substituted some mixed toasted seeds instead.
This recipe is still seasonal for December and is a great way of using some of my Bucket o'Squash and eking out my remaining winter salad leaves, such as the rocket I've used in this instance. This recipe serves two and accompanies our usual salad of mixed leaves, plus some grilled fish or meat.
- 1 'Jack be Little' squash (or equivalent), approximately 300g in weight
- A generous handful of rocket leaves (or whatever you have to hand - preferably on the spicy side such as land cress or mustard leaves, or perhaps some baby spinach if making this earlier in the year)
- 50g toasted seeds - I used an equal mix of pumpkin, sunflower and linseed
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Freshly milled black pepper
- Heat the oven to 200oC (or 180oC for fan ovens) or gas mark 6. I took advantage of using the oven for our Sunday roast and cooked my squash a couple of days ahead of when needed
- Pop the squash in the oven and roast it whole for around 25 minutes, until the skin is just beginning to turn brown and come away from the squash's flesh
- Allow to cool then peel the squash (much easier than when raw), deseed it and chop the flesh into smallish cubes
- Add the squash to a serving bowl followed by the rocket leaves and toasted seeds
- Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together with a couple of good twists of black pepper and add to the bowl
- Gently mix everything together, until the dressing has coated everything - it won't take long!
- Serve immediately
- If a cold salad doesn't appeal at this time of year, then this salad can be served warm. Simply peel and cube the squash prior to roasting on a pre-oiled baking sheet, then quickly add to the other pre-mixed ingredients and serve
- I like the idea of adding some ruby red pomegranate for a more colourful, festive looking salad
- Add some crumbled feta or goat's cheese for a vegetarian meal
- Use any salad dressing and herbs of your choice to ring the changes
* = I can offer you some Chocolate Spice Cookies from the guest post archives instead, if you're looking for something more festive.