As a self proclaimed passionate carnivore...
... a vegan would actually eat quite well at my house. Evidenced by this raw butternut squash salad.
Here is a quick little insight into what happens in my kitchen and how it ends up here.
Much of the food you see on the site is a result of what is in my fridge/pantry/countertop AND is moments away from taking its own life. I say that in jest..
The deal is my week is usually filled with brilliant aspirations of recipe and flavour testing, experimenting and discovery. Visions of how Monday through Thursday me and Little will joyfully frolic through the kitchen, singing and dancing our way through recipe trials and adjustments. He will wait patiently as things simmer, boil or bake and even more patiently as I place warm chocolate chip cookies under his nose, only to say... "no touching sweetie, mommy needs to take a picture of these". He responds.. "no problem mommy, I will play quietly & independently over here while you 'work' ".
As my laughter subsides, I can assure you the reality is a trip to Mars away from that. Life happens. A beautiful life happens. But some weeks are just messier than others. I hate the thought of wasting food and so (and hence why I was roasting chicken at 6:30 this morning) while I wish my inspiration was all Pinterest/food mag derived, it quite honestly is "food on the edge" inspired. This salad was no different.
The beauty of winter squash is those babies will sit on your counter for weeks quite contently. I have been doing a lot with squash this winter. My two favourite ways to prepare it are definitely soup - this butternut squash soup from over a year ago is still a favourite - and then as a pasta sauce. A roasted butternut squash (alongside a few sweet potatoes, carrots and a slice of bacon) make a fantastic creamy "cheese" sauce for a pasta that big and little people in this house seem to get pretty excited about. Recipe coming for that pronto.
Martha inspired the ingredients & flavour combinations here. I have never had squash raw before and I was pretty skeptical. After playing around with getting the right thickness for the squash, it works beautifully. I tried hand slicing & the mandolin and nothing worked better than the good ol' veggie peeler. The only thing I would do differently would be to marinate the butternut squash in the vinaigrette about 15 - 30 minutes prior to serving, just to have the vinegar break it down a little, but texturally it was still very appealing. The dressing is without any added sweetness because the dates fill that space. Paired with peppery arugula, it was a winner all around.
Shaved Butternut Squash Salad
A hearty raw vegan salad made from shaved butternut squash, peppery arugula & a grainy mustard vinaigrette.
- 2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
- 2 scallions minced, white portion
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butternut squash, peeled, then shaved with peeler.
- 1 cup carrots, shaved
- 6 cups fresh arugula, freshly packed
- 4 dates, pitted & thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- freshly grated horseradish (optional)
- Combine the first six ingredients in a small jar with a lid and shake vigorously to combine. Pour into a medium bowl.
- Shave off butternut squash & carrot and marinate in dressing for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Add arugula & toss to combine.
- Top with dates & sunflower seeds.
- Top with greater horseradish if desired.