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March 16, 2012 / beeandtrumpet

Modified Winter Squash Salad

Put Those Fronds to Use

As one of my fellow (t)radders is anti-knife-maintenence, I should start here with a warning: Kabocha squash cooking is not for everyone.  Do not attempt splitting a Kabocha into 1 ½” wedges, paring off the roasted skin, and cutting into bite-sized chunks unless you have significant knife skills and a well maintained knife.  Yikes, these guys are tough!

To give one hope regardless, I will say that this was the third time I made this recipe, and the first time I actually used the prescribed specialty squash (acorn squash was a lovely choice).  Kabocha IS especially appealing because (according to its Wikipedia entry), it should be aged one to three months to develop its starches, before eating, or the flavor will be very bland.  Great news for North-Easterners for whom nothing but rocks and sticks are ‘in season’ at this time of year.

Sexxy Kabocha: Oiled and Ready

This recipe is a slight variation on a Heidi Swanson recipe – I have omitted the alcohol to make it more child-friendly, and substituted fennel for celery.  I rarely buy celery these days. I find it easier to use up a fennel bulb; it works great in salads, mirepoix, for soups, grain, pasta, potato and egg salads, and braised it is great as a stand-alone vegetable side dish.  I hear that pickled on pizza, it will blow your mind, but I have yet to try it – feel free to send some over.

Roasted Winter Squash Salad


1 pound roasted winter squash*, skin removed, cut into 1” chunks

A heaping  1/2 cup fennel, diced

1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped

2 big handfuls toasted walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup dried currants, dried cranberries, or chopped dried figs

2/3 cup fresh unfiltered apple cider (uv sterilized if you can get it)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
(whole grain preferred)

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt


In your dressing-making vessel of choice, blitz the cider, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt. Taste, add salt if needed, and set aside.

Toss the pared, roasted squash in a large bowl with about a third of the dressing. Let it sit for a minute or two, add more dressing, the fennel, red onions, walnuts, and dried fruit. Toss again. The squash will really drink up the dressing so don’t hold back. Let the mix sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

*Toss 1 1/2 inch thick slabs of (de-seeded) squash with a generous drizzling of olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper, and 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary in the top third of a 425F oven until completely tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle. For this recipe, slice into 1” chunks, leaving the skin behind.



Leave a Comment
  1. lanceblair / Mar 16 2012 4:13 pm

    This looks and sounds wonderful…3-for-3 with the great recipes! I look forward to trying them all. Looks gorgeous along with the turquoise presentation.

  2. ivalleria / Mar 18 2012 12:01 am

    Yes. Rocks and sticks are appealing eating only to a one-year-old. Did you try it three times to stubbornly get it right, or just you like it that much?

  3. threefresheggs / Mar 18 2012 12:08 am

    Liked it that much, and I happened to stumble across an actual kabocha. Third time, by the way, was not a charm. Used cranberries of questionable quality (on sale this week at Fairway $3.99/lb) and made the whole thing too sweet. Note to hopefuls.

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