This roasted delicata squash salad is a superfood extravaganza! I've tossed it together with walnuts, apple, cabbage, and quick-pickled red onion dressing. (Yeah, I'm a total rebel and made the dressing in the microwave.)
After all the holidays, parties, lack of sleep, dozens of cocktail-sized meatballs on toothpicks, and one-too-many Champagne toasts, I often get a little wacked out and start craving beet juice and kombucha in an attempt to get myself back on track. It isn't so much a new year's resolution as it is my body's visceral desire to balance itself back out. I honest to goodness crave vegetables (and water and sleep).
This no-lettuce salad definitely fits the bill. I could dive right into this bowl! It is loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients like apples, cabbage, walnuts, and piles of roasted delicata squash. To pull it all together, I gave it a loose Germanic theme and tossed it all together with a warm pickled onion and caraway dressing. My body doesn't care about sticking with themes, though; it wants salad!
Delicata squash makes up the majority of the base of this recipe. If you haven't cooked with it before, I have good news: You don't have to peel it! The skin is tender, and you leave it on.
Just cut the squash in half lengthwise (through the stem end).
And then scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Cut it in half lengthwise again, making quart round strips.
And then cut the strips into 1/4-inch-thick pieces.
Toss the squash with oil, salt, and pepper and spread it out on a baking sheet.
Then roast it until golden-brown and tender. Toss it while it is still warm with the other ingredients.
Roasted Delicata Salad with Warm Pickled Onion Dressing
2 medium delicata squash
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey (or use agave to make it vegan)
1/4 teaspoon caraway seed
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 large apple, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped celery hearts (preferably with leaves)
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, cut into strips (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut delicata in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds and pulp. Cut lengthwise again, and then into 1/4-inch quarter-moons. Toss delicata in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until coated. Spread out in a single layer onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until tender and darkened in spots, 16 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile combine vinegar, honey, caraway, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave until boiling-hot, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir in onion. Set aside for 10 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
Toss cabbage, apple, celery hearts, the hot roasted delicata squash, and the warm pickled onion dressing in a large salad bowl. Divide among four plates and top with walnuts and parsley (if using).
(Image credits: Katie Webster)