January 30, 2012

Kabocha Squash and Arugula Salad

I recently discovered Kabocha squash and was delighted to find that it tastes exactly like a roasted chestnut; sweet and nutty!  You can even eat the tender skin.  It goes really well with arugula, scallions and cruncy pepitas.  I think I’ll be stockpiling Kabochas for the next few months...

Makes 1 Dinner Serving or 2 Appetizer Servings

1/8 slice of a whole Kabocha squash (butternut or acorn squash will work too)
1 large handful of arugula
1 scallion (white and light green part sliced thinly)
1 generous sprinkle of pepitas
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sherry or white wine vinegar
Fresh cracked pepper

To prepare the squash, wash it, cut it in half and put the halves cut-side down on a baking sheet, stab the skins a few times on each half to let steam escape.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a fork easily slides through the skin and flesh of the squash.  Set aside and let cool. 

Cut 1/8 slice of squash in cubes (you can leave the skin on if desired).  In a salad bowl, add squash, arugula and pepitas.  In a small bowl/ramekin, add olive oil, vinegar, scallion, salt and pepper.  Mix this dressing well and set aside to let the flavors mingle.  When you’re ready to serve your salad, mix the dressing again, pour over salad until it is lightly coated but not swimming.  Serve immediately and enjoy!


Lots of squash leftover?  Remove the rinds, reheat and fork-mash the squash with a little brown sugar and butter for a sweet side dish.  Or cut up cubes of cold squash, toss with remaining scallions and the same vinaigrette for a refreshing zingy side dish. 

Lots of other stuff left over? Pepitas can continue to be used in many different salads, in trail mix or sprinkled on top of oatmeal, yogurt or baked goods.  Remaining scallions can be sliced thinly and added to omelets and scrambled eggs.

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