This colorful warm salad is perfect to brighten even the darkest winter days. The roasted squash and cherry tomatoes taste even sweeter thanks to a tart lemon and maple dressing. The creamy feta is the perfect partner for the sweet roast vegetables and zingy dressing, and the roasted hazelnuts give a yummy crunch. It’s a really healthy salad too, so ideal if you want something tasty but something relatively good for you. This salad works great for dining al-desko in the office and can be made the night before. You could also roast the squash and tomatoes in advance, and whip up this salad in seconds when you come home after a busy day.
Serves 1 to 2
- 60g butternut squash (seeds removed, peeled and chopped into small cubes)
- 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- A few fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Some crumbled feta cheese
- Fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
- Roasted hazelnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon of maple syrup (more if you like it sweeter)
- ½ teaspoon of yellow mustard
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C. Put the butternut squash, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves onto a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. After twenty minutes add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a further fifteen minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove the vegetables from the oven and allow to cool.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, mustard, and maple syrup together with a small hand whisk or fork. Taste and season with salt and pepper. I like my dressing quiet tart, so feel free to add more maple syrup if you prefer it sweeter.
Add the dressing to the tomatoes and squash. Arrange the spinach on a large salad plate. Crumble the feta on top and scatter with the chopped roasted hazelnuts.