Here is a recipe for a salad featuring butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, and teleme cheese. This recipe can be found on the Williams Sonoma blog’s 30 Days of Salads. The butternut squash is first steamed and then roasted, enhancing its flavors through the process. The squash is served warm, which melts the cheese and blends the flavors. Adapt the recipe to your liking, using different cheeses or no cheese at all and feel free to substitute pumpkin seeds with other nuts and seeds too.
Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6):
- 1 small butternut squash, about 1 1/2 lb.
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling, plus 2 Tbs.
- Sea salt, to taste, plus 1/2 tsp.
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp.
- 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbs. walnut oil or hazelnut oil
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 lb. Teleme cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Cut it in half lengthwise, then scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers. Cut the squash into small slices or 1/2-inch cubes. In a steamer pan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Arrange the squash pieces on the steamer rack, place over the boiling water, cover and steam until just slightly tender when pierced with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the squash from the steamer and let cool.
- Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the squash pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and turn to coat. Roast, turning the squash pieces over once, until lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
- In a large salad bowl, using a fork, mix together the balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, the 2 Tbs. olive oil, the walnut oil, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add the spinach and toss to coat well.
- Divide the spinach equally among 4 to 6 salad plates. Top with the warm squash pieces, the cheese and a sprinkling of pepitas. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2010).
This post is a collaboration with Williams-Sonoma, but all words and opinions are my own.