Griddled Butternut Squash,

Goat’s Cheese and Olive Salad

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 6 as a light lunch)

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved and deseeded
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150g soft goat’s cheese, such as Oddington
  • 15g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
  • 1 small bunch of fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped

For the balsamic onions:

  • 3 medium red onions
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
  • 50g caster sugar

For the black olive purée:

  • 100g pitted black Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the garlic and chilli dressing:

  • 200g crème fraîche
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • crushed ½ a plump red chilli
  • deseeded and very finely chopped freshly ground black pepper

 

We make this with soft, creamy Oddington goat’s cheese. It is a salad that plays on the contrast of colours and looks stunning layered up, rather than tumbled together.

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

To make the balsamic onions, peel the onions and cut each one into 8 wedges, keeping the root end intact so the wedges don’t fall apart. Scatter over a shallow ovenproof dish and add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Toss lightly together, then cover the dish with foil, put into the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 5–10 minutes, or until the onions have softened and are lightly browned. Remove and leave to cool, but leave the oven on.

While the onions are baking, prepare the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half again, then cut into thick wedges (about 1.5cm). Heat a griddle pan, preferably (or otherwise the grill), and cook the squash for 1-2 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred on both sides. Transfer to a baking tray, brush generously with roughly a third of the oil and season. Put into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then take out and turn the squash over. Brush with half the remaining oil and season generously. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, until softened and lightly browned, then remove and cool to room temperature.

To make the black olive purée, put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz to a coarse paste.

To make the dressing, put the crème fraîche into a bowl and stir in the garlic and chilli. Add enough cold water to make the dressing pourable (around 1-2 tablespoons) and season with a little ground black pepper.

To serve, arrange the butternut squash in a shallow serving dish in a single layer. Crumble the goat’s cheese into chunky pieces and scatter them over the stop, then drizzle the dressing over. Top with the balsamic onions. Dot with the olive purée and sprinkle wit the toasted pumpkin seeds and parsley. Finally drizzle with the remaining oil and serve.

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