Warm Spinach Salad with Delicata Squash and Ricotta Salata
Delicata squash, which has sweet, pale-orange flesh, is a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium and iron. When roasted, the pretty scalloped peel of this winter squash becomes tender enough to eat. If you can’t find Delicata, use cubes of cooked butternut squash or sweet potato.
- 1 1/2 lb. Delicata squash
- 4 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbs. sherry or red wine vinegar
- 8 oz. baby spinach leaves
- 4 oz. ricotta salata or feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Rinse and dry the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, then cut the squash crosswise into half-moons 1/2 inch thick. In a 12-by-17-inch baking pan, toss the squash with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, 1/4 tsp. of the salt and a few grindings of pepper. Bake until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar and the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Add the squash, spinach, cheese and almonds.
In a small fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Carefully pour over the salad (the oil may splatter) and toss to coat and wilt the spinach evenly. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).