Roasted Beet – Squash Salad with Walnuts

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Recipe #1 for a healthier you. Am sharing this recipe with you today as it’s a perfectly light, albeit festive way of serving up vegetables. Something light to eat after overeating for weeks! BEGIN those new year resolutions today!

Over Christmas we ate literally like the kings and queens of prior times: oven-roasted pheasant, grilled lamb, scallops, emperor prawns, and all kinds of seafood, and more, and all oh so yummy. 

It was kind of like this…..

still life with fruits lobster pheasant
(painting by Georg Fischer-Elpons)

My friend, the-secret-chef, cooked and well, it was fantastic. Over the top really.
I still smile thinking of it all. What a sweetheart to go so ‘all-out’ for us.

::

Besides all these lavish, wonderful & expensive dishes, there was one ‘simple’ dish, that also got me really excited!   It was the one I prepared the day BEFORE Christmas, for lunch/

What got me excited was that:

  • it was roasted in the oven, making our kitchen nice, warm and cozy;
  • it could be eaten hot or cold (read: a flexible  side dish for any meal;
  • it was vegetarian (a break from all that protein);
  • it was just bursting with flavor; and 
  • it was as pretty as a bouquet of flowers, so colorful!

I made a double-serving, thinking it would make a simple lunch and a great party side-dish.  Ha ha…. I had not counted on it being so delicious that my miniscule family devoured the whole amount in one sitting! It was so good, and so healthy!  We felt great afterwards.

Now, that everyone is just about to land into new year resolutions to loose some weight and towards better health, I wanted to share my version of this recipe with you, because I know you will just love it also.

 

roasted squash recipe

photo credit: Andrew Scrivani (New York Times)

Red Beet & Winter Squash Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 giant beets (Tip: add the greens if you have ‘m as these are super healthy!!)  
  • 1 butternut squash  (Tip: make about the same amount of beets as squash.)
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 crushed garlic
  • 4 Tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tsp. walnut oil (or other nut oil)
  • 3  Tsp. chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, mint, tarragon, chives.
  •   The NYT’s ingredients list was longer, but this is all I had ALREADY in my fridge or was growing outside of my kitchen window.

      Step-by-step Cooking Instructions

      1. I cleaned and chopped both veggies and placed them in separate baking dishes as the beets give up lots of color when peeled/chopped.

      2. Drizzle with oil and place  veggies in a hot oven (425 degrees) for a bit over half an hour, till tender.
      3. If you have been beet greens, then blanch them for 1-2 min. in salted boiling water on the stove.  When done, place greens briefly into bowl with cold water, drain and chop.

    4. Make a dressing with your walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.

    5. When veggies are done, place them into a serving dish, poor over dressing, toss, and sprinkle some remaining fresh herbs and a few walnuts.

    This dish will stay good for several days in the fridge, but honestly, unless you make a GIGANTIC batch, you won’t have a lot of leftovers. If you are making this dish for another day, keep the beets, squash and dressing separate and combine at the last minute.

    Oh , this dish still makes me happy.

     

    Recipe by…. 

    The original of my modified recipe above was actually published in the New York Times, by Martha Shulman. I did not know Martha, but she has a cookbook to her name: The Very Best Of Recipes for Health. Available on Kindle & Hardcover. Good to have…

    Having said this,  this recipe really reminded me of my AMAZING cookbook, which FOR SURE, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECOMMEND: The Tra Vigne Cookbook: Seasons in the California Wine Country by Michael Chiarello. Yes, an Italian.

    I have had this cookbook for over 10 years and cook from it regularly. EVERYTHING in this cookbook turns out FANTASTIC, provided you DO what Michael says, and not your own thing. No substitution nor shortcuts please. Highly RECOMMENDED cookbook!


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