Friday, May 30, 2014

Roast Pumpkin and Tomato and Feta Cheese Salad

This is the best salad I have had in a long, long time (made by my own hand).  Everything just meshes incredibly beautifully and perfectly and what makes me most happy is that I did not even really plan to make this salad this way, it just came together.

You will need:

a bunch of rocket or arugula, preferably some green with a little kick or bitterness
1 small or 1/2 big kabocha squash, otherwise known as Japanese pumpkin
feta cheese
cherry tomatoes
olives (if desired)
a few sprigs of thyme or a dash if using dried thyme
a few leaves of rosemary or a dash if using dried thyme
brown sugar
salt and pepper

I mean, look at that ingredients list - am I worse than an Italian grandma or what?  I obviously do not measure anything when I cook - and making salad can hardly be counted as cooking anyway.

Wash the squash thoroughly, scoop out the seeds, chop into 1 inch squares (or slightly bigger or slightly smaller depending on your preferences).  Toss in olive oil, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Plop the cubed squash onto a baking sheet.

Wash the tomatoes, halve.  Plop the tomatoes onto a baking sheet.

Roast both the squash and the tomatoes in the oven at 400 F for about 10-15 minutes.  The squash takes less time than you would expect. I was really surprised because I expected it to take a while, and nearly burned it all.  The tomatoes will take a while longer, depending on how close to "sundried" you like your tomatoes. 

While the squash is baking, wash the lettuce, dry with a salad spinner (invaluable kitchen tool, definitely in my top 10), chill.

Chop up the feta cheese (it will likely have come in a big block).

Once the tomatoes and squash have cooled, toss into the rocket along with the olives and feta.  Toss everything with your choice lemon or balsamic vinaigrette.  I dare you to try, just try, not to finish this in one setting!

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