Winter Produce Recipe: Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad Posted December 1, 2017 Recipe by Ann Nunziata, NGI Chef Instructor, Programming & Content Manager With its signature green splotches, kabocha squash is prized for its sweet, nutty flavor and creamy texture. Enjoy it warm straight from the baking pan, or dress it up with bitter radicchio ribbons, juicy pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans. Brimming with bright colors and playful textures, this festive salad will beautifully complement your holiday table. Choose a blemish-free kabocha that has a dry stem and is heavy for its size. No need to peel; the fiber-rich skin is edible, and will help the squash keeps its shape when tossed in the salad. ROASTED KABOCHA AND RADICCHIO SALAD WITH TOASTED PECANS, POMEGRANATE ,AND MINT WITH CREAMY SHALLOT-DIJON DRESSING (Serves 6) Ingredients: Roasted Kabocha Squash: 1 small kabocha squash (2 pounds) 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon sea salt Pinch black pepper Salad: 1 head radicchio, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced ½ cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped ½ cup pomegranate seeds ½ ounce mint, leaves coarsely chopped Orange-Dijon Dressing: 1 small shallot, minced ½ cup orange juice 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon maple syrup 1 teaspoon sea salt Pinch black pepper ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil Procedure: Heat oven to 375F. For squash: Cut the squash in half from top to bottom by inserting your knife alongside (not through) the stem and pressing down using your body weight. (*Note: It’s best to use an 8-inch chef’s knife, holding the knife in one hand and pressing down on top of the blade with the other.) If your knife gets stuck, carefully remove it and try again. Use a spoon to scrap out the seeds. Flat side down, trim off the stem and the root end. Slice squash halves into 1-inch-thick wedges, then cut each wedge into 1-inch cubes. Toss cubed squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Bake until tender and golden, 20-30 minutes. Let cool. For dressing: In a blender, combine shallot, orange juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, sea salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as necessary. While motor is running, slowly stream in olive oil. Season to taste. To serve: Toss radicchio, squash, pecans, pomegranate, and mint with dressing. Serve immediately. Want to learn how to make more healthy, delicious meals utilizing winter produce? Sign up for one of our hands-on cooking classes this winter!