If you've never tried squash in a salad before, you're in for a treat! Winter squash are in season right now so I've been adding them into everything I can think of. Having roasted squash in a salad might sound a little strange, but the maple ginger glaze gives the squash a wonderful flavor that's perfectly suited for a salad topping.
Something about the leaves being bright golden-yellow right now makes me want to try all of the beautiful squash varieties that keep popping up at our grocery store even more.
Behold, the kuri squash. It's a lot like a pumpkin but without the ridges and shaped more like a little tear drop. Like some pumpkin varieties, you can actually eat the skin, which makes preparing this squash a whole lot easier.
I've never particularly enjoyed the dangerous task of slicing into a whole rock hard squash, so I like to give it a good wash then roast it whole for 20 minutes at 400 degrees fahrenheit before even attempting to get a knife in there. This softens the squash enough that it makes it super easy and much more safe to slice.
Once you have your squash sliced in half, scoop out the seeds then cut into little half moons.
In a large bowl, make the maple ginger glaze by grating about a tablespoon and half of fresh ginger and mixing it with a bit of maple syrup and some herbs. We won't be using the whole squash for this recipe, so pick out 6-7 pieces to use in the salad and put the rest away for another recipe.
Dip the squash one piece at a time into the maple ginger glaze until well coated, then place on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking tray.
Roast your sliced and marinated squash slices at 400 degrees until they start to turn golden brown around the edges and fully soften, about 20-25 minutes.
These squash slices are tasty enough to eat on their own, but I love having them in a salad with a creamy dressing.
In every salad I make I always try to include plenty of whole food starches. Salads with only watery low-carb vegetables are not satisfying at all and you'll be hungry again an hour later. The key to a good salad is always having at least one starchy vegetable, such as squash or potatoes, and always include a bean or legume of some type, such as chickpeas. Whole grains are also a great option to add in if you have time to cook them or have some leftovers, but for this salad I found that the squash and the chickpeas added just the right amount of starchy filling ingredients, so I left the grains out of this one.
I made a very simple dressing from raw cashew butter, lemon juice, and more maple syrup. I ripped up the roasted ginger glazed squash into bite size pieces and tossed it with some fresh romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, carrots, green onions, and chickpeas. The result was this super creamy and delicious lunch bowl.
I hope you find a beautiful kuri squash and try out this autumn recipe! Other squashes like pumpkin or kabocha may also work, but I haven't tested them out yet and cooking times may vary. Full recipe below!