Maple Roasted Squash Salad
by Iona Berry
Most of us grew up with meat as the hero of our meals and with vegetables taking up the mere corners of our plates. It can be hard to know where to start if you're trying to flip the script and cook plant based meals that don’t feel like just eating a plate full of sides. Building an exciting, yet satisfying meal around vegetables - whether that’s a bunch of carrots or a humble head of cauliflower - can sometimes feel like a little daunting and underwhelming task.
Our new series, Veg and Two Veg is here to tackle just that and to explore all of the ways in which every day vegetables can be the star of the table without sacrificing flavour or heartiness. Whether you’re cooking for one or cooking for a bunch, these recipes will fill your table with vibrant, deeply flavoured and satisfying dishes that you’ll be making on repeat.
This quick and easy salad is easy to prepare and can be used as a guide for lots of other varieties of roast vegetable salads. For instance instead of squash you could roast pumpkin, sweet potato or even do a whole roasted broccoli with the same sauce and toasted seeds.
This roasted butternut squash is topped with sweet roasted corn, which provides an extra layer of texture and flavour to the salad. I really like to cut the kernels off of the cob as I think the texture is better for roasting, but if you only have canned then that will also work but try to drain the corn and get rid of the excess liquid so that it will still go crispy. You can eat this salad hot or cold, which makes it perfect for picnics or if you need to bring a dish to a potluck dinner. This colourful salad is the perfect addition to your vegan salad repertoire.
1 large butternut squash (around 900g) cut into large strips
1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil
1 tbsp (12g) white miso
2 tbsp (30g) maple syrup
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
Corn kernels cut from 2 corns on the cob (200g)
60g pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp (!5ml) oil
1 tsp salt
Sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional)
20g parsley, finely chopped
10g mint, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chili (deseeded and finely chopped)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
½ tsp salt
70ml extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced into a paste
Cracked black pepper
1 bag of mixed salad leaves
Vegan feta (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200˚C fan/220˚C conventional.
To make the marinade, whisk the white miso, olive oil, cayenne pepper and salt together in a small bowl until well combined. Cover the butternut squash strips in the marinade and place them on a baking tray to cook for 35-40 mins.
Whilst the squash is roasting make the sauce. Finely chop the parsley and mint them until they are very fine. It will take a good few minutes to cut them down but I find it’s a nicer texture than when blended.
Once the herbs are finely chopped, add them to a bowl along with the olive oil with the chilli, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Season to your taste, adding more lemon juice or chilli to taste.
Mix together the corn, pumpkin seeds, oil, chilli flakes (if using) and salt. Spread evenly over a baking tray and cook for 15-20 minutes. I recommend moving the squash down in the oven for the last 20 minutes of cooking and putting the seeds near the top so that they get really brown and crispy.
Half way through the cook time of the seeds, give them a stir so that they cook evenly. They should be very crisp at the end of cooking and the pumpkin seeds will have turned a darker colour.
To assemble the salad simply add the mixed leaves into a large serving bowl and add the roasted butternut squash, scatter with the corn and seed mix, layer on some of the sauce and crumble on some vegan feta cheese.
By Iona Berry
Iona is our Development Chef, aka our go-to girl for developing, testing and tasting delicious dishes for you to all enjoy at home. When she’s not in the kitchen, you’ll find her either running or cycling, or trying out food markets and new restaurants around London. Continuous market research it would seem.