Sunday, 10 December 2017

Butternut squash and feta salad

vegetarian salads

Whenever these days I ask what he would like for dinner, my husband is requesting something meat-free. Fine with me, I am happy to oblige, though it does mean an advance planning. I find it easier to cook dinner with meat or fish, unless it's a soup or a salad.
I don't have many purely vegetarian cook books in my collection, as I prefer to buy books on either baking, or on national cuisines (and avidly avoid any celebrities from outside the culinary world like Pippa & co).

One of the books which caught my attention is "More from the accidental vegetarian" by Simon Rimmer. It was on offer from The Book People a while ago. I confess I didn't quite know who he was, until I bought the book. I've never watched Something for the Weekend.
It is an inspiring book, full of delicious recipes. I like Simon's attitude, he doesn't evangelise vegetarianism, he just offers a selection of tasty recipes which happen to be vegetarian.
Not sure why there is a chapter on desserts. Most desserts are vegetarian by nature (meat and fish-free) anyway. Not many of us cook puddings with lard or suet these days, so unless specified I would presume a dessert to be a vegetarian dish (even jellies these days are made with vegetarian gelatine).

One of the recipes I bookmarked was for a pumpkin salad with cheese. I didn't have any fresh pumpkin or Yorkshire fettle cheese, so had to improvise.
Butternut squash is a good substitute for pumpkin, and feta is another staple for salads which is easily available.

Butternut squash and feta salad
a packet of butternut squash wedges (385g)
3tbsp olive oil for roasting + 2tbsp for dressing
125g feta cheese, cubed
about 3tbso pine nuts, toasted
a handful of rocket and spinach salad
a handful of olives (I used feta-stuffed olives)
3 radishes, thinly sliced
100g peas, cooked from frozen
Fennel and garlic crostini (optional)
1tbsp maple syrup
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp cider vinegar
1tbsp fresh lime juice
1tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Cube the butternut squash wedges and place them on a big baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over them and season with sea salt. Shake the tray so that the cubes are coated with oil evenly. Bake at 180C for about 20+ minutes until the squash is soft, but still holds its shape.
Roast the pine nuts for 5 minutes on a separate tray.
Cook peas in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes, then drain.
Assemble the salad: first put the salad leaves, then add the squash cubes, feta cheese, olives, radishes, peas and scatter pine nuts over. Add crostini or croutons if you like.
Make the dressing and drizzle over the salad.

vegetarian salad recipe

In this recipe I used Filippo Berio Fennel & Garlic Crostini, baked with extra virgin olive oil, which were delivered in the latest food box from Degustabox. The crostini are crunchy and flavourful, and will work well in a variety of salads or soups.
You can obviously swap them for any croutons you have, bought or homemade, or skip altogether, if you count calories or are on a gluten-free diet.

vegetarian recipe

Last Christmas I won a huge hamper of Filippo Berio goodies, including several jars of olives. I just realised that I still had a jar of olives stuffed with feta at the back of the larder shelf, and it nearly expired.
For this reason - clearing the kitchen and using nearly expired olives + the end of the pine nuts' bag - I am adding this recipe to #KitchenClearout linky run by Cheryl from Madhouse Family Reviews.


  1. Now that is one tasty looking salad - so full of colour and different textures :)

  2. I would never have thought of using butternut squash in salad. It looks delicious, so many colours and textures