If you’re looking for a little bit of a change of pace or some kind of an unusual combination for your next salad, this one right here should be a serious contender.
I came up with this one almost by mistake…
Let me explain.
I have sort of gotten into the habit of roasting squash and other such “winter” vegetables on the week-ends so that I have them ready to use on week nights when I come back from work.
One such night, I opened the fridge door and started staring at this lovely acorn squash. It had been baked like I always do, which is cut them in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place them face down on a baking sheet with a little bit of water to produce just what’s needed of steam and prevent the squash from sticking to the pan.
So what I had in front of me were actually two baked acorn squash halves.
I had also roasted a HUGE, but I mean HUGE rutabaga! This one I had cut into little cubes which I’d then placed in the oven on a baking sheet with, again, a little bit of water, salt and pepper, and gently roasted uncovered until just tender.
So I had LOADS of roasted rutabaga.
I immediately thought that I wanted to turn these two into some sort of a salad, but wasn’t quite sure as to how I was going to handle the acorn squash in a way that would preserve it’s prettiness. Scooping the flesh out like I usually do just wouldn’t cut it. I figured I had to try and peel it. I had never tried peeling a cooked squash before!
Well, let me tell you, it works WONDERS!
All I did is cut the half in half, then I cut each half into 3 wedges. I pretty much followed the natural “ridges” of the acorn squash. I then delicately removed the peel from each wedge with a paring knife. It came off super easily.
I was left with 6 beautiful slices that I could now use in my salad. They were so pretty, I was NOT about to cut them into smaller pieces. I decided that they would remain whole and made them the centerpiece of this creation.
Once this had been accomplished, building the rest of the flavors just came naturally.
I went for very seasonal ingredients: grated carrots, a little bit of orange, rosemary, hazelnuts and raisins. What a brilliant combination this was.
Success, all the way, is what it was!
So much so, I repeated the experience the very next day, and this time, I logged it!
And as an added bonus, I now know how to very easily peel Acorn Squash!
If that isn’t a win, I don’t know what is! 🙂
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- ½ acorn squash, roasted and cooled, cut into 6 slices and peeled
- 100g rutabaga, roasted and cooled, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 8 hazelnuts, ligtly toatsted and chopped
- 20g raisins
- 1 scoop plain whey protein powder
- ¼ cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup unswseetened applesauce
- 1 tsp Meaux mustard
- 1 tsp cidar vinegar
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- ½ tsp fresh rosemary
- pinch salt and pepper
- Start by making the vinaigrette by placing all the required ingredients to your small blender or food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Arrange the spinach, grated carrot, rutabaga and acorn squash wedges nicely on a serving plate. Top with toasted hazelnuts and raisins. Garnish with a few slices of oranges, if desired.
- Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad at the time of serving.
Is it just me, or does that wedge there looks like it’s actually smiling?
I think it’s because it just saw the dressing!