Roast Calabaza Salad with Pepitas and Ricotta Salata
Calabaza is a type of squash that you should be able to find in farmer’s markets and some grocery stores. If you can’t find it, substitute other squashes in its place — kabocha, pumpkin, butternut are all delicious. I love this salad because it’s perfect for fall and has great flavor and textures. The mushrooms in the salad are packed with anti-carcinogenic properties and antioxidants, even more than tomatoes, green peppers, or zucchini. It’s inexpensive, warming, and perfect for fall.
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 292
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 19g
Total Carbohydrates 16g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 1 Calabaza or Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2 inch chunks
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 portabella mushrooms
- 1 ½ pounds baby or regular arugula leaves, washed and dried
- ½ cup pepitas or pine nuts, toasted in a 425 F oven for 4-6 minutes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 ounces Ricotta Salata Cheese or Feta
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Whisk 4 tablespoons of olive oil, brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of thyme leaves together in a large bowl. Add the calabaza or squash into the sugar mixture and toss until well coated. Season heavily with salt and pepper. Place the squash directly on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the calabaza is tender but not mushy.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the portabella mushrooms by cleaning them, stemming them and cutting them each into 1/8ths. Toss the mushrooms with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and roast with the squash for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Remove the squash and mushrooms from the oven once cooked and allow to come to room temperature.
- Once the squash and mushrooms are cool, toss them with the arugula. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the vinaigrette to the salad. Mix gently to combine. Serve on 4-6 plates, top with the pepitas and using a grater or microplane, grate some Ricotta Salata over the whole salad and serve.
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