As sweet as vegetables can turn once they're cooked, especially when they're roasted slowly in a hot oven, every once in awhile, "raw" vegetables can really hit the spot.
I first made this salad last fall -- on the very day the recipe was published in the New York Times. I made no notes, I wrote no post, mostly because mid-November didn't strike me as the "right time" for a raw winter squash salad. But I did take a pretty picture and it kept popping up when perusing the photo files for the scores of "work in process" recipes, many which are too "meh" or too "something" to meet my high standards for both A Veggie Venture and Kitchen Parade.
But the first small winter squash are showing up both at the farmers market and the grocery store. They're especially perfect for this raw salad -- because the flesh is slightly more tender, the proportion of flesh:seeds&gunk is high. And just like the Butternut Squash Soup with Mango & Toasted Coconut, it strikes me as a great "transitional" salad, one that spans the season, when the weather is still warm and
And -- Canadians readers, are you there? This would be a great side salad for Canadian Thanksgiving coming up so quickly now, especially with dried cranberries instead of dried currants.
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KITCHEN PARADE, LAST WEEK Creamy Wild Rice Soup
RECIPE for RAW BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 3 cups
1 small butternut squash (about 1-1/2 pounds to yield 1 pound of edible squash)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons good light-colored vinegar (for example, champagne, white wine, sherry, rice)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (I use jars of ginger)
1/4 cup currants or dried cranberries (see TIPS)
Salt & pepper to taste
Trim and slice off the skin of the "neck" of a butternut squash -- twice, it's yielded exactly one-pound of sweet winter squash flesh. (How? How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers.) Grate the squash on the large holes of a hand grater (see TIPS). Stir in the remaining ingredients.
MAKE AHEAD Combine all the ingredients, cover and refrigerate. Much to my surprise, the texture doesn't really change (at least over 24 hours) and the squash doesn't discolor either.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
I thought a mandoline would make "prettier" pieces of squash. But a butternut squash is too tough for a mandoline, it just won't slide through. In contrast, a three-sided grated, with a little elbow grease, worked just great.
I have the idea that most people will find a full half cup of this salad to be "a lot". So volume-wise, three cups could go a long ways, a spoonful at a time, almost more like a salsa or relish.
I always choose currants over raisins -- they are less sweet. And because they are smaller, a smaller quantity will "go further" when distributed in a salad or cookies or whatever. Dried cranberries are nearly always large -- so I'd recommend chopping them a little to distribute better.
For texture contrast, I might top with a few toasted almonds or toasted pecans.
~ Raw Beet, Carrot & Kohlrabi Salad ~
~ Raw Beet Salad ~
~ Gorgeous Raw Asparagus Salad ~
~ Celeriac Slaw ~
~ more "unusually raw" recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ My Favorite Winter Squash Recipes ~
~ Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Tagine ~
~ Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Chard & Cheddar ~
~ Steamed Butternut Squash ~
~ Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Glaze ~
~ more winter squash recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple ~
~ Chicken & Wild Rice Soup ~
~ Acorn Squash with Quinoa & Cherries ~
~ more winter squash ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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