Roasted Squash and Spinach Salad (fall)

Roasted Squash and Spinach Salad (fall)

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Serves 4

1 medium delicata squash, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings or half-moons
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
4 oz baby spinach, washed and dried (about 7 cups)
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/3 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
2 oz shaved ricotta salata*
Saba** or traditional balsamic vinegar, for drizzling (optional)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle. Place cleaned spinach in a large salad bowl.

Toss squash rings in bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until the underside of the squash is blistery and brown and fork tender, 10-12 minutes.

Once squash is almost ready, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small frying pan. Add shallot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom, and immediately remove from heat.

Pour shallot mixture over spinach, add squash and pumpkin seeds, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, if needed.

Divide salad onto plates. Sprinkle with ricotta salata shavings, and drizzle with saba or balsamic vinegar (if using). Serve immediately.

*Ricotta salata, or “salted ricotta,” is a harder and more savory version of typical ricotta cheese. Make shavings by using a vegetable peeler.

**Unlike traditional balsamic vinegar, saba is not aged in barrels and is created by boiling the grape must until it is simply reduced and thickened. Read more about balsamic vinegar.

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