Moving right along through the squash family in what appears to unofficially be squash month here on RC....Unlike the lastcouplerecipes that I've shared with you, today's salad includes a new-to-me squash, the delicata squash. Please someone tell me that they had the brains to try this waaaaaay before I did. Because this squash is uhhh-maze! Like I-cooked-two-delicatas-and-ate-one-within-10-minutes-of-it-coming-out-of-the-oven amazing. It gets all crispy and caramelized on the outside but then it's smooth and salty-sweet on the inside. I've dubbed it squash candy, not because I'm trying to trick anyone into to eating it, but truly because I think it tastes like candy. Plus, the only thing I've ever popped into my mouth as fast as I was popping those delicata slices was candy, so the name seemed fitting. To round out this fall salad with delicata squash, I added in my ever-favorite farro and goat cheese (because goat cheese belongs on everything), and finished off the dish with pear and maple (because all fall things need a touch of maple, right?!?). But enough talk, I'm off to eat more squash candy...
FALL SALAD WITH DELICATA SQUASH
1 Delicata Squash
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 cups of kale, washed and cut into pieces
1 cup of farro, cooked
1 pear, cut into cubes
4-5 cloves of garlic, roasted and chopped (can be roasted while you're roasting the squash)
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, roasted
First, prepare the squash. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash the squash well with warm water, then cut off any knobs or spots. Slice the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (I like to use a grapefruit spoon), then slice the squash into slices. I find it easiest to slice it with the flesh side face down on the cutting board. You want the slices to be no more than 1/4" thick (the thinner the slice, the crispier the result). Spread the squash in a single layer onto an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with the olive oil and salt (adding more or less based on your preferences), then bake for 10 minutes. Use a rubber spatula or scraper to gently flip the pieces onto the other side. Bake for another 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Set aside.
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small glass jar. Screw the lid on tightly, then shake vigorously, until all ingredients are combined. Set aside.
To assemble the salad, first make a bed of kale on a serving dish. Add on the farro, pear, and roasted garlic. Finish off the salad by topping it with the squash slices and goat cheese, and then drizzle it with the dressing. Serve immediately.
Serve alone for a lighter meal, or with sausages and a crusty bread for a heavier, more filling meal.
This salad is vegetarian. To make it dairy-free and vegan, simply eliminate the goat cheese. Try substituting quinoa for the farro to make this salad gluten-free.