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.
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Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 411
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 47g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 29g
Total Carbohydrates 16g
Dietary Fiber 3g
* 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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