Spicy Squash

Phil and I have a huge crush on this squash salad - probably because it's really hot. In a fiery way. :) The recipe comes from levi roots' Food for Friends and has reaffirmed my love of Caribbean food. It has also made me very excited about all of the squash and pumpkin we can look forward to this fall. Instead of being sad about summer ending, let's get excited about a new season starting! There is so much to look forward to -- warming soups and stews, plenty of excuses to bake more, walks through the colorful leaves in the park, if you're British - Guy Fawkes night, if you're American - Thanksgiving. See? Plenty of reasons to be happy!

To start you off on the right track, this squash salad will usher in a new season with pizazz. It's a little different, something special, and reminds you of those fall flavors you've been missing since last year. Pick up a giant butternut squash at your local farmer's market and give it a try. It would be great as a starter, or pair it with quinoa or pasta for a main course. (We had quinoa spaghetti, killing two birds with one stone...)

Roast Squash Salad with Peanut and Ginger Dressing

Recipe adapted from Levi Roots' Food for Friends; makes enough for 2 people

The particulars:

  • 1 butternut squash, deseeded and cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped (include seeds for added heat, or remove if you prefer)
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • Dressing: 1.5 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 piece stem ginger finely chopped, 1 tsp stem ginger syrup, 3 tbsp canola oil, 3 tbsp roasted peanuts roughly chopped
  1. Heat the oven to 400F. Put the squash wedges on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Season and drizzle the honey on top. Mix with your hands, making sure each piece of squash is well coated. Roast for 25 minutes, scattering over the red chili for the last 10 minutes. Leave to cool a little.
  2. To make the dressing, put the vinegar, mustard, ginger, and syrup in a cup or jar and season. Whisk in the oil with a fork, and stir in the peanuts.
  3. Toss the spinach and squash together with the dressing and serve warm.