|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
If salads seem like light summer fare, think again. Heartier salads with roasted vegetables are perfect for cooler weather. And autumn's pumpkins and other squash are not just for pie.
Choose darker greens for a cool weather salad. Spinach, kale and romaine are sturdy enough to stand up to the roasted squash and are loaded with nutrients. And the bitter flavors of the dark leafy greens stand up well to the natural sweetness of squash. Likewise, creamy tahini dressing, with its slightly bitter sesame flavor, will go well with a touch of maple syrup.
If you find regular pumpkins too cumbersome, don't be afraid to use some of their squash cousins. The sweetest is butternut squash, a popular favorite. But try roasting a calabaza squash which has a sweet butternut-like flavor and seeds that can be roasted like a pumpkin's. Acorn squash is a bit less sweet but has a distinct hazelnut flavor. And kabocha has a smooth, sweet flesh and a flavor resembling sweet potato.
Whatever your favorite, these warm roasted salads should be a hit with the entire family.
- For the Salad:
- 1 whole pumpkin or other squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups assorted greens such as baby kale, baby spinach and baby romaine
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
- For the Maple Tahini Dressing:
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the pumpkin or other squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and drizzle the flesh with the tablespoon of olive oil.
Place pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for approximately 45 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Cut into large wedges and pull off the peel. Note that if you're working with a softer flesh squash, like butternut, you can peel the squash first, remove the seeds and cut into chunks. Then toss with the olive oil and roast as above.
Make the dressing by whisking together the tahini, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper until smooth.
Assemble the salad by placing a bed of the greens on a plate, topping with the warm roasted squash, sprinkling on the pumpkin seeds, if using, and drizzling with the maple tahini dressing. Serve immediately.