It's been a difficult couple of weeks news-wise, and for me, often a carefully-planned and satisfying meal is the best comfort. This week, I made a salad with roasted delicata squash, and it really hit the balance between rich comfort food and being healthy.
Have you tried delicata squash? I first tried it a few years ago, and now it's the epitome of autumn to me. It's super easy to cook -- you cook it with the skin on, and it's delicious roasted -- and has a great squash flavor.
What's also great about this recipe is that the different components are super versatile and could easily be used in other dishes -- the maple tahini dressing has a really interesting, nutty flavor, and the roasted squash is great on it's own.
Also, a podcast to try out while you cook. I thought the "Anna in Somalia" episode was really moving, and made me re-realize I still need to read Anna Karenina.
Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing
Makes 3-4 large servings
1 medium delicata squash
1 T olive oil
1-2 T honey
salt and pepper
dash of chili powder
dash of garlic powder
dash of paprika
1/3 C goat cheese, crumbled
About 3 cups baby kale or chopped regular kale (no ribs or stems)
1/4 C dried cranberries
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1 small clove garlic, peeled and grated
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
dash of paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper or white pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice squash in half and clean out seeds with spoon. Slice each half into C-shaped pieces by slicing horizontally. Place on baking sheet or 9 x 13 pan. Drizzle 1 T olive oil over squash, along with 1-2 T of honey, and then season to taste with salt and pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Squash pieces should be lightly coated with oil, honey, and spices.
2. Bake squash until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.
3. Prepare dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients; a mason jar with a lid works well for shaking to mix ingredients.
4. Assemble salads: on a bed of the kale, add roasted squash, goat cheese, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, and drizzle dressing over it all.
Enjoy! Happy fall!