By Pielove, member
Posted: December 28th, 2009
I know that comfort food often has nursery textures, but I find the traditional holiday meal often has too much mash. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, and casseroles all make for piles of mash on the plate. My family also traditionally serves boiled, mashed butternut squash. The squash is usually homegrown and delicious, but it is just another mash. Craving some crunch, I decided to roast the squash and serve it on a bed of lightly dressed, crisp, flavorful, fresh greens and vegetables. The roasted squash has a succulent, almost meaty texture, with the roasting and the soy sauce adding a bit of umami, making for a satisfying side dish.
1 butternut (or other) squash, approximately 3 pounds, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
6 cups mixed salad greens, preferably including some bitter greens
2 cups mixed crisp fruits and vegetables (apple chunks, scallion greens, fennel bulb, etc.)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Thai chili garlic sauce
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
Toss the squash cubes with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp kosher salt, place on parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in a 400-degree oven until soft and slightly browned, about 45 minutes-1 hour. Stir once or twice during roasting. Roasting can be done in advance; re-warm the squash before serving, or serve at room temperature.
Prepare the crisp vegetables to suit your taste, slicing fennel bulb thin, cutting scallions into 1-inch lengths, and apples into chunks, etc. Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Just before serving, toss the greens and vegetables (and fruits) with the dressing in a large bowl. Pile onto a platter and top with the squash. Serve.