Food

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

I made this a lot a few years ago, then forgot about it.  Time to revive it.  It’s a great winter salad – you can have it warm or cold, it’s nice both ways, and you can eat it as a side salad or a whole meal with some nice bread.

Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side dish (though if you were greedy you could probably eat the lot yourself).  You can eat it cold too, but I think it’s nicest warm.

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • Red wine vinegar
  • dried oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh sage (I pick from the garden in the summer and bung the leaves in a bag in the freezer)
  • Feta (about 100g).

Method

  • Finely chop half a red onion.   Place in a salad bowl and pour over enough red wine vinegar so that all the onion can soak in it.  Sprinkle on about a teaspoon of dried oregano.  Mix everything together, cover, and leave to soak for a good hour.  This stage is important as it softens the onion and makes it a bit less harsh.
  • Turn the oven to 210 C approx
  • Peel, de-seed and chop the butternut squash into approx 2cm chunks.  Place in a roasting tray with some sage leaves and a good glug of olive oil.  Mix with your hands so the squash is covered in the oil.  Roast in a hot oven until tender and a bit charred on the corners.
  • Take squash out of oven and leave to cool just a little.
  • Drain some of the red wine vinegar off the onion.  (You don’t have to chuck it, it will be fine to use it in another dressing).  Add a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and mix.  Taste the dressing at this stage and adjust quantities of vinegar/oil/salt to taste.  Don’t oversalt, as you’ll be adding the very salty feta next.
  • Crumble about half a packet (100g -ish) of feta into the onion mix.  Gently stir it in.  You’re aiming for a mix of small crumbs and big chunks of feta.
  • Now tip in the warm roasted squash and gently mix in with everything else.
  • If you’re being posh, you can tear up a few fresh sage leaves and scatter over the salad to serve.

Serve with a nice chunk of crusty bread or something like focaccia.  I made a flat bread to go with mine, but anything will do.  That will make a good lunch.  Or serve as a side dish with just about anything (more salads, sausages, whatever you like).

What would you replace the feta with if you wanted to make this vegan?  It needs to be sharp and salty, to offset the sweetness of the squash.  Any ideas anyone?

 

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