Recently, most of my creations in the kitchen have been vegetarian dishes. Even though I am usually quite a carnivore, I just haven’t had any urge to cook very meaty meals. I seem to be developing a preference for roasted vegetables or light salads and since all these things are actually good for me, I am just going with the flow. One possible reason could be that recently I have found such good quality vegetables at the local farmer’s market that I can’t resist experimenting with them. Another reason could also be that since I have been eating out so frequently (and restaurant meals are mostly meat-focused), when I eat at home, I tend to lean towards balancing my diet a little bit.
Anyway, my recent finds at the Farmer’s Market included a locally grown butternut squash and a mix of fresh baby lettuces. So I combined these two to make a curried roasted butternut squash salad. I added a beet, some goat cheese and some roasted pistachios to give the salad some variety of tastes and texture. The bright colors of the lettuce leaves, the red beet and the roasted butternut squash made this a most beautiful salad.
1. 1 small butternut squash or half a medium sized one
2. One boiled or roasted beet (or canned ones will do too)
3. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4. 3-4 tablespoons of shelled roasted pistachio nuts
5. 1 teaspoon of curry powder
6. 1 teaspoon of paprika
7. Salt and pepper to taste
8. 2-3 ounces of goat cheese
9. 1 tablespoon honey
10. 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
11. 10-12 leaves of Thai Basil (regular basil is okay too)
12. 2 cups of assorted baby greens/lettuce leaves
1. Preheat the oven at 350F
3. Place the sliced butter nut squash on a cookie sheet and evenly sprinkle a little bit of curry powder, Paprika, salt and pepper on each slice.
4. Also baste each slice of squash with a little bit of olive oil.
5. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
6. After 8-9 minutes of roasting, turn the slices of butternut squash over.
7. While the squash is getting roasted, make the salad dressing by whisking the following ingredients: 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of white Balsamic vinegar.
8. Take the butternut squash out of the oven and check for doneness (they should be fork tender).
9. Place the baby lettuce leaves on a serving platter – make a bed of them on the base of the serving platter.