Roasted butternut squash is a fabulous addition to a salad. This recipe is too delicious… I mean honestly, how can salad taste this good haha?
Roasting brings out a sweet earthy caramel flavour in butternut squash (read my full guide on how to roast butternut squash here). Add in a few other simple secret ingredients and you have got the most delicious salad!
This type of salad works especially well in the autumn, winter and spring months when you want a little bit more substance and warmth in your meals. I like it cold, but it can be served warm or cold depending on your preference.
Is it still a salad if it has cooked squash in it?
Absolutely it is still salad if it has cooked squash in it.
Salad is commonly understood to mean a variety of natural ingredients, usually chopped and dressed, served either chilled, at room temperature or even warm.
The exciting thing about salad is that there are infinite variations that you can create. It is common to find cooked ingredients in a salad. Think potato salad or pasta salad for example. Usually, they are cooled down but there are no rules to say you can’t serve yours warm or even hot.
Do whatever you want. Make it up. Explore. Experiment and be brave!
Finely chopped ingredients in the butternut squash salad
One of the secrets to making this salad delicious is to chop most of the additional ingredients as small as possible.
Chopping the celery into tiny pieces for example means that it will disperse evenly throughout the salad. This means you’ll get a nice bit of texture without the celery being too overbearing.
How to chop celery into tiny pieces?
To chop celery finely you will need a sharp knife. Firstly, slice it into long thin strips. Next, cut crossways (see photos below) as finely as possible.
Use a fine grater for your ginger
My super fine grater is a priceless piece of equipment in my kitchen. I use this almost exclusively for ginger and nutmeg. Use the finest grater that you have available.
Finely grating your ginger means that you will end up with a super even flavour of ginger throughout your butternut squash salad.
No fiery chunks of ginger, phew!
Use finely chopped onion in your butternut squash salad
Onion is nice in a salad but be sure to chop it as finely as you can. You only need a very small amount of onion to jazz up a salad.
Like ginger, you will find that chopping your onion finely means that it spreads evenly through your salad once it is mixed in.
Sun-dried tomatoes to transform your salad
Here is your little bit of magic. Sun-dried tomatoes can really transform a salad.
Not only do they work especially well with roast butternut squash salad, but you can also use them to jazz up just about any salad. They do however work especially well with roast butternut squash salad.
If you chop your sun-dried tomatoes into tiny pieces then they infuse evenly through your whole dish.
You can find my homemade recipe for sun-dried tomatoes in a jar HERE. Alternatively, just buy a jar from your local supermarket. You don’t need many to make the salad awesome.
- 1kg (2lbs) butternut squash (will reduce in weight by half once peeled and roasted)
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 tiny onion (or piece)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomatoes from a jar
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Sprinkle fine sea salt
- A few lettuce leaves or a handful of basil or parsley
- First of all, you'll need to roast your squash. It is best to peel it and cut it into small cubes. Cubes can be around half an inch (or about 1.5am cubed). Toss onto an oven tray and bake at 200C (400F) until you can pierce your cubes easily with a fork. Read full guide and tips on how to roast butternut squash here.
- Once your squash is cooked you can leave it to cool down and use later. Alternatively, use it straight away, for a warm salad.
- Slice your celery into tiny pieces. (Scroll up to the article on this page for a helfpul image on how to best do this if you need tips).
- Finely grate your ginger with a fine grater. If it is organic you can even leave the skin on your ginger.
- Finely chop your onion.
- If your sun-dried tomatoes from the jar are large (i.e. in halves) then chop them up into much smaller pieces. (Note if you want to make your own jars of soaked-sun-dried tomatoes you'll like my recipe here: Sun-dried tomatoes in a jar for salads etc).
- Toss all of your prepared ingredients into a mixing bowl along with the balsamic vinegar, sea salt and sesame oil.
- It's better to toss and mix with your hands to allow everything to disperse nicely and evenly throughout your salad. You can however use a spoon to mix or your hands, whatever you prefer. Just make sure that everything is evenly spread about and mixed in.
- If you have green leaves, lettuce or herbs, then chop or gently tear them and toss them in.
- Your salad is ready to serve. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge if you have any leftovers or want to make ahead.
Please scroll up to article for extra tips, explanations and visuals.
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