As I mentioned in my last blog, I am into using the vegetables that are in season right now. Although butternut is usually a winter squash in my mind, it is still easily available at this time, and it is one of my favorite vegetables. I just love it roasted with a little olive oil and cinnamon and sugar. It caramelizes and is just delicious. Watercress on the other hand is really in season right now and it is one of the top power foods. As you well know all leafy vegetables are good for you, but watercress is currently top of the list. I love its crunchy texture and its peppery tang. This is what made me think it would be the perfect partner for my roasted butternut in a scrumptious summer salad. This salad is perfect for when you grill out, or it is a perfect side for your Shabbat or week-night dinner, and it still tastes great the day after!
Watercress and Butternut Salad Supreme
1 bag watercress (triple washed)
1 and 1/2 lb. butternut squash cut into cubes (2x 12 oz. bags from Trader Joe’s)
1 tsp. cinnamon and sugar
3/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 red onion cut into thin short strips
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
juice of one orange
zest of one orange
2 Tbs. vinegar
salt and pepper
- Place butternut cubes in a casserole dish and coat them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle a tsp. of sugar and cinnamon over the cubes and bake at 375°F for 1/2 hr to 40 mins. until golden and caramelized. Turn them half way through baking so that all cubes are evenly cooked through.
Remove from oven and allow them to cool completely. ( I try to do this the day before or in the morning, so I can refrigerate them before making the salad)
- While the oven is on, lay the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the same oven. Be careful not to burn them. Cool and chop the nuts into small pieces.
- Place the watercress in a salad bowl.
- Place the butternut on top of the watercress.
- Add the sliced onion on top.
- Sprinkle the nuts over the top.
- To make the dressing: mix the mustard, honey, vinegar and orange juice together. Add salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil till you have the right consistency of a salad dressing. Taste it, and if necessary add more seasoning
- Pour the dressing over the salad and top with the orange zest.