A true powerhouse of a salad, no questions asked! As we move into Spring, sadly this salad is no longer strictly in season, but it wouldn’t be out of place in these last chiller weeks of February.
These quantities aren’t hard and fast, and being longer or shorter on a certain ingredient won’t be a problem at all! I’ve used butternut squash here as I couldn’t get to the farmer’s market for something more interesting, but any kind of squash will be delicious.
This recipe serves 4 people.
1 medium/large butternut squash, or equivalent
roasting oil of choice (a mild rapeseed oil is perfect)
1 tbsp honey
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
salt & pepper
approx. 16 leaves of cavolo nero
100-150g cooking chorizo
2 handfuls of walnuts
for the dressing:
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees.
Wash the whole squash well, and give the exterior a good scrub. You can peel if you prefer, but I quite like the rustic feel of the skin in this simple dish.
Dry the squash, and chop into even-sized chunks. Toss with a roasting oil of your choice, some salt, pepper, and a drizzle of honey. I’ve added some finely chopped fresh rosemary, but any hard herb, or blend of dried herbs will work well.
Roast in the preheated oven. A little charring on the edges here is delicious, so keep the oven high, especially at the beginning. Check after 15 minutes, perhaps turning the oven down to 190. The honey will help the butternut to caramelise, but there’s the risk of it burning and going bitter too, so keep an eye on it. Of course it depends on size, but the butternut will take approximately 30 minutes to colour and blister on the exterior, and soften and sweeten in the middle.
Chop the chorizo. Here you have a choice: you can either scatter this over the roasting butternut about 5 minutes from the end of cooking, or you can fry in a pan. The former saves on washing up, but yields a dryer, ‘baked’ sort of chorizo, the latter is much oiler and juicer.
Wash the cavolo nero, and slice across the central stalk, removing any bits at the base which are that little bit too thick. Put this in a colander over the sink and boil a full kettle. When the butternut is nearly cooked simply pour the boiling water over the cavolo nero to wilt, and allow the steam to billow off. If you have the time and inclination, pat dry with kitchen paper!
Finally, 2 minutes before the butternut is ready to come out of the oven, toast a handful of walnuts in one corner of the roasting tray.
Remove the roasting tray from the oven, chop the walnuts, and crumble the feta. In this picture I’ve ‘arranged’ the salad on the plate, (it was for my first real shoot!), but mixing all the ingredients together in a larger bowl, including the dressing, will in fact be more delicious, if less photogenic!
A tiny sprinkle of paprika looks rather pretty (and a little eighties!) to garnish at the end. Enjoy.