This winter salad is bursting with flavour. It is simple, colourful and satisfying.
I love butternut squash for its nutty flavour and its tremendous versatility in the kitchen. I have prepared it in a variety of ways, sweet and savory, but I find that it is particularly yummy when roasted. Roasting butternut squash intensifies its flavour producing a wonderfully sweet and nutty taste with a deliciously silky texture. Roasted butternut squash is great in warm salads with ingredients such as goats cheese, pine nuts and peppery arugula.
So, when I came across this recipe recently, I knew I was going to love it and that it was destined to live happily on this blog. I jazzed up the dressing a little bit, added a few ingredients here and there, and as a result, was very happy with the finished dish.
I had never roasted beetroot before so I was interested to see how it came out. I didn't bother to peel it as I heard that the skin was delicious. And it was!
Feta can be substituted for goats cheese if you prefer. And to make the dish vegetarian, simply leave out the pancetta.
This salad is a great accompaniment to roast chicken. It is also pretty fantastic served with nothing more than a big glass of red wine!
1 large butternut squash, washed and cut into wedges (no need to peel)
4 medium beetroot, trimmed, scrubbed and cut into wedges
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
4-6 fresh sage leaves
200g (7 oz) soft goats cheese, crumbled
50g pine nuts, lightly toasted
200g diced pancetta or bacon
6 oz mixture of Spinach and Arugula/Rocket leaves
3 tbls balsamic vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
1 garlic clove crushed
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sugar or splenda (less if you have a sweeter balsamic)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F. Place beetroot and butternut squash with the sage and thyme on a large roasting tray. Toss with 1 tbls olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 - 50 minutes (depending on the size of the pieces), turning half way through. Roast until the beetroot is tender and the squash is soft and golden.
Mix dressing ingredients together thoroughly. Refrigerate until needed. Fry pancetta or bacon until crisp, set aside.
When squash and beetroot are done, remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Arrange mixed salad leaves onto a large platter. Place butternut squash and beetroot on top.
Spoon over the crumbled goat's cheese and scatter with the pancetta and toasted pine nuts.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad or serve along side. Serve salad immediately.