Show of hands, who likes to peel squash? Hmm, no one? Well my friends, do I have a tip for you. Did you know there’s a squash you can roast and eat, skin and all? It’s true, and it’s called delicata squash. While it shows up about the same time of year as the winter squash, it turns out it’s the same species as summer squash such as zucchini and patty pan. Perhaps this is why the skin is edible?
Here I’m using it as a base for a recipe to submit to No Croutons Required, a monthly event that challenges bloggers to make a soup or salad using a certain ingredient, this month being squash.
Quinoa Squash Salad
- 2 medium delicata squash
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- 2 well-packed cups baby spinach
- vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the ends off of each squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Thinly slice into semi-circles.
- Place squash in a large casserole dish. Lightly drizzle with vegetable oil. Toss to coat. Place in the oven and roast, tossing once or twice, for one hour to one hour fifteen minutes until squash is very soft and starting to brown. Remove from the oven.
- Immediately mix the squash with the quinoa and the baby spinach. Add in the Honey Paprika Vinaigrette (see below) to taste. Mix well and serve immediately.
Honey Paprika Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil, until the honey is thoroughly incorporated and the salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
The salad is intended to be served warm. It helps if the quinoa is also freshly made and therefore also warm. It should take around 20-25 minutes to cook up a pot.
My favorite part of the recipe is the dressing. It’s the first part I thought up. The smokiness of the paprika balances nicely against the sweetness from the honey. Regular paprika will work if you can’t find the smoked kind. I liked an extra sprinkle of smoked paprika on top. Mike preferred it without.
I should also add that I only used about half of the dressing. You can make a full batch, use as needed, and maybe have some leftovers. Or make half the recipe, and it will probably be enough. Before you make that decision, take note of the paragraph below.
Mike and I are the type of people who are happy to eat a salad with only vinegar and no oil. I find standard vinaigrette recipes much too oily. Even though this recipe has a 1:1 ratio of oil to vinegar and water, we still felt it was a bit too oily. If you, like us, are in the pro-vinegar camp, you might want to reduce the olive oil to 2 tablespoons.