Friday, November 26, 2010

Roasted Squash Salad with Cilantro-Sunflower Seed Dressing

I am really loving the green sauces as of late.  This simple 'salad' consists only of grains, roasted onions and squash, and a really neat dressing made out of sunflower seeds and cilantro.

Because I had no wild rice, I used wheat berries instead.  I think the important thing there is to use a grain that has tons of texture to contrast with the soft squash.  I also topped the salad with the squash seeds I'd reserved and toasted.  Ok, I forgot this at dinner, but at least I remembered for the photo shoot the next morning...

The only other thing I'd note about this recipe is that it makes a TON of dressing.  I'm going to have to keep finding things to put it on... which reminds me: that Georgian Cilantro Sauce from last week was amazing on pasta, too.

Roasted Squash Salad with Cilantro-Sunflower Seed Dressing

3 cups of pumpkin (or other winter squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, seeds reserved
3 medium red onions peeled and quartered
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt
 2 c cooked wheat berries
1/3 c sunflower seeds
1/3 c olive oil (I skimped on this a bit)
2 TB lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 TB honey
2 TB warm water
1/2 c cilantro, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375*F.  Toss the pumpkin in a generous splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt, and turn out onto a baking sheet. At the same time, toss the onions with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and turn out onto a separate baking sheet. Roast both for about 45 minutes, or until squash is brown and caramelized. The same goes for the onions, they should be deeply colored, caramelized, and soft throughout by the time they are done roasting. Flip about every 15 minutes.
2. In the meantime, make the dressing. With a hand blender or food processor puree the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and honey until creamy. You may need to add a few tablespoons of warm water to thin the dressing a bit. Stir in the cilantro, saving just a bit to garnish the final plate later. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
3. Clean the squash seeds and pat dry.  Roast in the oven, on the stovetop, or in toaster oven until slightly brown and crispy.  Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, toss the wheat berries with a large dollop of the dressing. Add the onions; gently toss once or twice. Turn the rice and onions out onto a platter and top with the roasted squash. Finish with another drizzle of dressing, the toasted squash seeds, and any remaining chopped cilantro.  Serves 4.

No comments: