When this nuisance of a cold started, I was downing quarts of soup per day in an attempt to feel better. Then as I continued to pull out of it, I found myself craving crunchy vegetables and varied flavors. I sometimes think of eating whole, fresh foods as my medicine. If that’s the case, then this nutrient-filled salad will help cure anything.
For this dish, you first roast the unpeeled kabocha squash. Leaving the skin on is prettier, and roasting makes the flesh richer and slightly caramelized. Then serve it over the remaining salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing.
I will say, I tend to prefer the high-in-fiber skin of kabocha squash steamed as opposed to roasted. It seems to become more tender that way. So if you like the skin, and you decided to steam rather than roast the squash, that could work well, too. When serving the salad, I like the squash at room temperature or a bit warm.
This is no limp salad. I love the flavor combination of sweet kabocha squash, tart pomegranate, earthy tahini, spicy arugula and bitter walnuts. Hearty and filling, this recipe uses the tahini dressing I created for another of my cold weather favorites, this Raw Broccoli Salad. Served with quinoa, farro, or bulgur, this kabocha squash dish could be a complete meal.
Kabocha is actually a generic term that refers to many different types of squash. The one I see most often is a green Hokkaido variety with rough green skin and smooth (i.e. not too stringy) orange flesh inside. If you don’t have kabocha squash available, another type of winter squash or pumpkin could work. However, not all have edible skin and the cooking time may need to be adjusted.
- 1 medium kabocha squash, sliced in 1-inch crescents
- 2 T coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- 6 c baby arugula
- ¼ c pomegranate arlis (seeds)
- ¼ c parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ c walnuts, toasted
- ½ c tahini
- 3 T lemon juice
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 t apple cider vinegar
- ½ t chili powder
- ½ t maple syrup
- 1 t garlic, minced
- ¼ - ½ t salt
- ½ c water
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash with coconut oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking time.
- In a medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and blend well.
- On a platter or individual serving plates, arrange arugula, top with squash slices, pomegranate arils, parsley and walnuts. Sprinkle on dressing to taste.