Roast Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Clea Grady

Roast Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Perhaps my favourite salad of all time. Good enough to eat by the bucketload on its own, with crusty bread, or perfect as one of the sides at a dinner party. In a former life I made this with feta, and when I veganised it I experimented with toasted sunflower seeds… It tasted so good that I’ve never bothered experimenting with anything else.

Ingredients

  1. 1 x butternut squash
  2. Smoked paprika
  3. 1 x bag of spinach
  4. Cherry tomatoes
  5. Kalamata olives
  6. Cucumber
  7. Celery
  8. 1 x red pepper
  9. Sunflower seeds
  10. Extra virgin olive oil
  11. Balsamic vinegar
  12. Salt and cracked pepper

Preparation

Special thanks to Victoria Harley for the image: split-pin.co.uk

Method

  • Cut your butternut squash into 2/3cm chunks and pour into a roasting tin
  • Add a small glug of olive oil, smoked paprika (I like quite a lot, but you basically want a light dusting over every piece of squash), a little salt and cracked pepper. Mix well
  • Put into the oven at 220C for about 30 minutes (cook until soft and slightly caramelised)
  • In the meantime make your salad… Wash and cut your veg (no need to cut up the spinach unless you have really large leaves, then it is better to tear rather than use a knife) and add to the bowl
  • Use a big bowl. I like to add all the smaller veggies first and then mix in handfuls of the spinach leaves at a time, so everything is evenly mixed
  • Into a fry pan, pour out some sunflowers seeds. More is more here, so don’t scrimp. You want at least half a cup of seeds
  • Dry fry the seeds on a medium heat until they are turning golden on both sides, stir a lot with a wooden or heat resistant spoon. Take care not to let them burn. Set aside to cool
  • When the squash is ready, remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or so, before spooning on top of the salad mix (if I’m in a rush I don’t even wait for it to cool a little, and just spoon it straight on. A few wilted spinach leaves can be rather nice.)
  • Then add the toasted seeds
  • Shake some olive oil over the top, about the same and a half of balsamic vinegar and some cracked pepper
  • Mix slightly, but make sure the squash and seeds are still visible on the top
  • Serve!

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