I woke up this morning feeling so cold, I thought for sure all the windows in the house had been left open. My cat, Roxy had wedged herself into my hip, pinning down the covers on one side and leaving the other too short to cover me up. It left me with that strange sensation of warmth on one half of my body and cold on the other. Add to that a very strange dream where all the girls I knew in high school and college were shunning me at a reunion and it makes for one disorienting morning. Pretty soon however, as always, Roxy abandoned her post and made it her mission to get me out of bed demanding her morning treat. While I tried to stay warm under the covers and read my morning emails, she proceeded to knock things off the nightstands, scratch things she’s not supposed to scratch and nip at my elbow. Ahhh, for the love of a cat. She thinks she’s queen and pretty much gets away with it because she’s just so darn cute and soft. Now, having succeeded at her quest, I’m being rewarded with a warm bundle of fur cuddled up by my side as I work.
I’m kind of bummed that it’s so cold now at night. I miss the warm balmy evenings of summer and the desire to go romping naked in the moonlight – only in my fenced backyard, of course. Fall in SoCal doesn’t really have a visual change of seasons. It’s much more tactile. The weather becomes cooler, there’s more dew in the mornings and fall crops of squash, pears and pomegranates are abundant. Although my warm summer evenings have now turned down the heat, I do have to admit that autumn is a wonderful cooking season.
I first learned about the wonderfulness of the delicata squash last year around Thanksgiving. I roasted it, skin on, with other squashes, brussels sprouts, onions and herbs for my Thanksgiving feast. Besides my famous mushroom gravy (which I WILL share with you next month), it was my absolute favorite dish of the day. The beautiful thing about a delicata squash is how little time it takes to prepare. It’s a softer squash with thin skin and has a taste somewhat in between an acorn and butternut. It cooks up in 15 minutes or less and you can do so many different things with it.
This recipe will make 4 main course salads or you could reduce the size and make 6 appetizer salads. It’s totally vegan and completely guiltless. This salad is elegant enough to serve to guests but quick and easy enough for a simple weeknight meal. I recommend serving it with a pomegranate mimosa or spritzer (champagne or sparkling water with some pure pomegranate juice).
Herbed Delicata Squash Salad
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 salad • Weight Watcher Points+: 6*
Calories: 211 • Fat: 5g • Carbs: 42g • Fiber: 10g • Protein: 4g
Sugars: 28g • Sodium: 128mg • Cholesterol: 0mg
*The Points+ value is calculated using Weight Watchers Recipe Builder. If you only count the items with positive Points+ values, the salad would be 2 Points+ per serving.
For the Salad:
- 1 delicata squash
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil), divided
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 apples, cored and large chopped
- 3 oranges, segmented
- 3 cups arugula
- 3 cups chopped romaine
For the Salad Dressing:
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Slice the squash into ½ inch slices, discarding the stem and base. Place the pieces into a large bowl and add 2 teaspoons of the avocado oil and the kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until softened, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the remaining teaspoon of avocado oil. Sauté the onions with the salt, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat.
Toss together the arugula and romaine and divide among 4 plates. Divide the apple and orange segments evenly among the four plates. Top with the grilled onions and squash slices.
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk together or shake together in a salad dressing shaker. Drizzle over each salad and serve.