Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dirt to Table Experience: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Sriracha Lime Dressing

Contrary to popular belief butternut is a tender skinned winter squash with little tolerance for cold air. My luck with growing butternut squash has been dismal.  I planted it too late, too early, and mostly ended with a lot of vine and no squash.  Late last winter my fellow community gardener gave me three butternut seedlings (from her saved seeds) to plant. The seedlings were planted in what can be described as a micro-climate in my garden.  A  sunny area with a high oak canopy to slightly reduce the peak mid-day Florida temperatures.  The Gods must have been singing Hallelujah!!  I became the proud mama of several butternut beauties. 

Surprisingly, fresh butternut is very easy to peel and cut. It has a sweet, nutty flavor that really explodes when given the opportunity to release its natural sugars from a good pan roasting, and a dusting of a heady spice like cumin.

My husband stumbled across this recipe while looking for ideas to use butternut squash in a salad.  The simplicity of this beautiful summer salad starts with peppery greens paired with the nutty and sweet roasted squash.  The flavors continue to move to the next level, with a kick in your pants flavor combination of cumin and sriracha sauce.  Now, let's cool it down with citrus and agave nectar or honey.  This is a winning combination of flavors.  The black beans and pepitas add a pop of protein and texture to this stunning and delicious salad.



Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Sriracha Lime Dressing
Serves 4
Recipe from Cookin Canuck
Ingredients:

Dressing
2  tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salad
1-lb. peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 cups arugula
3/4 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Instructions:

Dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, sriracha, agave nectar and salt.  While working slowly pouring in the olive oil.

Salad:
1.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place the butternut squash on the tray.  Sprinkle he olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper over the squash and toss to coat.

2.  Roast the squash until tender when pierced with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes.

3.  In a serving bowl, toss the arugula, blackens and pipettes.  Add the roasted butternut squash and the dressing, and toss again.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Next Cooking ClassCooking with Herbs: Saturday, September 19th at 10:00 a.m.
We are going to take your senses on a journey to discover how to use fresh herbs in your kitchen. You will learn how to take a dish from good to fantastic using fresh herbs. We will also talk about growing, handling and storing your fresh herbs.
Call Brown's Kitchen early (850) 385-5665 to reserve your spot.

photo from Herb Z