Warm Squash Salad with Arugula

Most folks don’t think of using squash in a salad, but when roasted and paired with goat cheese it becomes a hearty meal in itself. This was part of the pantry raid week. We had a wonderful cinderella squash left from our grower’s market that needed to be used. Feel free to substitute the hazelnuts for any other nut and you can leave out the bacon for a vegetarian option.

 

Warm Squash Salad with Arugula and Goat Cheese
  • 1 small kobotcha squash or cinderella squash 3-4 pounds – peeled, seeds removed and sliced into 1/2″ slices.
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3 Tablespoons smoked brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Piment D’Espellette or smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Maldon Flake Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup White Balsamic
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 6 ounces mild goat cheese
  • 4 ounces hickory bacon – cooked and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 pound arugula – washed and trimmed of any stems

Warm your oven to 475F. Mix all the ingredients except the hazelnuts, goat cheese, bacon and arugula to create a vinaigrette. Toss the slices of squash in the vinaigrette and bake 10 minutes on a non-stick baking pan. Turn over and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until soft, but not mushy.

Form the goat cheese into small rounds and roll into the finely chopped hazelnuts. Reserving the remaining hazelnuts and vinaigrette.

To serve:

Arrange 3-4 squash pieces on a plate. Sprinkle with bacon and a small amount of hazelnuts. Place a few rounds of goat cheese on top. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of reserved vinaigrette. Toss the arugula in a small amount of vinaigrette (you may not use all the vinaigrette) to lightly coat. Top the warm squash with the dressed arugula and serve with additional flake salt and cracked pepper. Enjoy with a Southern Oregon Viognier. Serves 6-8.

Happy Cooking!

Constance
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