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Butternut Squash Salad with Piquillo Peppers

  • 50 m
  • 1 h 10 m
Steve McHugh
“Sour celery pickles, tangy goat cheese, spicy peppers and sweet roasted butternut squash seasoned with fragrant coriander and cumin create a flavor explosion for a tasty alternative to leafy greens in this healthy salad recipe from chef Steve McHugh of the restaurant Cured in San Antonio. The salad is not just delicious—it also contains anti-inflammatory foods, including the squash, pecans and black pepper.”

Ingredients

    • 1⅓ cups water, divided
    • ½ cup rice vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño pepper
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus ¾ teaspoon, divided
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
    • 2 stalks celery, cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 8 cups cubed (1-inch) peeled butternut squash
    • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
    • 1½ teaspoons whole-grain mustard
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1 clove garlic, grated
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
    • 1 (10 ounce) jar piquillo peppers, rinsed and sliced
    • 4 ounces goat cheese
    • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
    • 1 cup fresh cilantro

Directions

  • 1 Combine 1 cup water, rice vinegar, jalapeño, sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, ginger and mustard seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place celery in a heatproof bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over it. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain, reserving the celery, jalapeño and mustard seeds.
  • 2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 3 Toss squash, 2 tablespoons oil, coriander, cumin and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared pan and roast, stirring once, until tender, about 30 minutes.
  • 4 Whisk red-wine vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in the large bowl. Add the squash and peppers; stir to coat.
  • 5 Whisk goat cheese, the remaining ⅓ cup water and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Spread the mixture on a serving platter and top with the squash, celery, jalapeño, mustard seeds, pecans and cilantro.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate pickled celery, roasted squash and the goat cheese mixture separately for up to 1 day.
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