Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gold Nugget Squash Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

The picture above is of a Gold Nugget Squash. Isn't it beautiful! When I saw it in the grocery store I just had to try it. It is a hard winter squash, like butternut or acorn squash, and tastes similar to other varieties I have had. I just loved the smaller, circular shape with bright orange rind and green stem tips. The entire time I was preparing it for this salad I just kept singing "I found the golden ticket" from Willy Wonka. Oh how the mind works. The squash is wonderful in this salad. It gets sweet when you roast it which is a nice compliment to smokey almonds, sharp provolone and tart cranberries. I served this salad as a side with a meal, but if you did a double portion it could easily be a main dish. If you cannot find this squash, you could easily substitute another winter squash.

Serves: 2
1 large gold nugget squash
olive oil, sea salt , black pepper
mixed greens
sliced almonds
provolone cheese, chopped into small cubes

Peel squash. Cut in half. Remove seeds. Dice into a small dice. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Toss with olive oil (1Tbs at the most) and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip. Cook 20 minutes more.

In a small skillet over low heat, toast almonds. Make sure not to burn them. They are ready when they turn light brown and their smell intensifies.
Place greens on a plate. Top with a few cranberries, almonds and cheese cubes. Add squash.  Top with 1 Tbs dressing.

Orange Vinaigrette
½ navel orange, juiced
2 tsp- 1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp honey
sea salt
black pepper
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve. 

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