Friday, September 7, 2012

roasted winter squash & arugula salad - toasted curry croutons

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you know fall is just around the corner when beautiful winter squash starts popping up at the farmers market. truthfully, i look forward to the transition into each new season. winter to spring, spring to summer & summer to fall all have something special to offer us and bring with them a renewing energy.
fall is definitely my favorite season - warm sweaters, skinny jeans with boots, apples, pumpkins & winter squash are just some of my favorite things about fall - really i could go on and crisp fresh air, fall foliage, halloween & thanksgiving. okay, i am sure you get it - i ADORE fall!

i went to the saturday market on a mission to find the first acorn squash of the season. only to find that acorns are not quite ready yet, instead i found these little beauties - sweet dumpling squash. the sweet dumpling squash is a relative of the delicata - one of my favorite winter squashes.
let me tell you, the sweet dumpling squash will give your favorite squash a run for its money.
the flavor is amazing - sweet and velvety in texture.
fall also brings with her the perfect growing weather for arugula, spinach & lettuce.
my favorite being arugula - which i harvested into november last year and hope to do so again this year.
this simple salad is tossed with the last of the seasons nectarines, sunflowers and topped with the roasted sweet dumpling squash - then dressed with a maple dijon vinaigrette.
to make this salad extra special, homemade curry croutons are added bringing another layer of flavor to the plate. the croutons are a cinch to make and the left over croutons are a perfect addition to any soup or salad
i personally enjoyed this salad with a cup of curry corn chowder (recipe to follow!) then the following day for lunch. the squash is excellent warm or at room temp.
another great thing about the sweet dumpling squash is the skin is edible and pretty beautiful too!
what is your favorite winter squash?
do you have a favorite season?
Roasted Winter Squash & Arugula Salad ~ Toasted Curry Croutons
serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter

 you will need:
for the salad
4 cups arugula
1 sweet dumpling squash
(or winter squash of your choosing)
4 tsp sunflower seeds
2 nectarines pitted & thinly sliced
olive oil
salt to taste

for the croutons
2 slices peasant bread
2 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp curry
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
sprinkle of salt

for the dressing
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard


pre heat oven to 350* - prep squash by cutting in half and remove the seeds.
cut each squash half in half, then slice into half moons.
drizzle olive oil over the squash & toss with salt - roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

prepare the croutons while the squash is roasting. cube the bread into 1/2" cubes - in a medium saute pan, melt better and olive oil over medium/high heat. place bread cubes in pan and sprinkle with curry, salt & nutritional yeast. toss bread cubes until all pieces are well coated with butter/olive oil & seasonings. cook on the stove top until golden brown on each side - set aside.

make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a jar with a cover and shake well to emulsify.

assemble salads by placing the greens on the plate, top with roasted squash, nectarines & sunflower seeds. drizzle the dressing over the salad & top with croutons.



  1. I've never had this type of squash before- but I'm definitely going to keep my eyes peeled for it when I go to the market tomorrow!

    I love fall too for all the reasons you said! I just can't wait for scarves, boots, cardigans, hot chocolate and pumpkin :)

    1. Did you find the squash Gabby?! It is becoming one of my favorites - bought two more this past weekend :)

  2. well..i need to get my hands on a dumpling squash asap! just the thought of not having to peel that bugger is as much convincing i need!

    i love that you added nectarines. it's a summer/fall fusion. and it looks beautiful.

    1. Yes you do! Not having to peel it is definitely alomst reason enough to get one...that and they taste amazing!

  3. Fall is my favorite too--cool crisp air, and birthdays, and leaves! I can't wait for the winter squash to hit the market. I think butternut is my #1. :)

    1. LOVE Butternut too - but I definitely have a special place in my heart for little squashes, especially stuffed!

  4. I have never heard of this squash before but I'll have to keep a look out for it! Your croutons look especially appealing. I like fall too, but we usually don't get much of it here before the snow comes along. =/

    1. This was a first for me too - I have seen them before but never realized they were edible - I always used them as decoration for fall :)

  5. oh my gosh what a gorgeous salad! it sound super delish! i just LOVE fall too!! crisp air, sweaters perfect!

  6. squashes are starting to show up here too! though i am not picking any up to hold on to the last few days of summer;)
    love the crusty curried croutons and the delicious salad:)

    1. Loved the croutons too - they were so good on the curry corn chowder, I am hoping to make another batch this weekend!

  7. Mmmm this salad is completed with those curried croutons - delicious :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. This sounds and looks crazy delicious! I'd happily have this as a meal! Yum yum....

    1. Hi Fern! the squash was really good cold too - it almost seemed to be a little sweeter whichI loved :)

  9. Curried croutons are genius. Fantastic idea! :) This salad looks so so so delicious! I think I'll make it for the upcoming Canadian Thanksgiving. I've been looking for the perfect salad to serve. Thanks for the awesome idea! xo

    1. Haha thanks Court! This would be so perfect for your Thanksgiving Celebrations :)

  10. I love squashes with edible skins! such a great addition to salads.

    1. Me too - so much easier! But i do love acorn and butternut, so peeling is just a part of life....unless of course you roast and scoot which is typically what I end up doing :)

  11. What a gorgeous collection of flavors! Winter squash and nectarines are great alone, but how amazing is the addition of curried croutons?!?! That sounds fantastic!

    I love fall too- the scarves, the boots, the sweaters, the leaves changing colors, pumpkin pie and coffee! It's totally my favorite. :-)

    1. Thanks Kristy! Everything worked so nicely together, I could have eaten this salad all week...but i devoured it in two days :)

      Fall can't come any sooner!

  12. I discovered delicata squash last year and it became one of my favourites - I loved its small size and the fact that you could eat the skin. So I'll definitely have to keep my eye out for sweet dumpling squash this year!
    I'm always looking for new ways to use squash, and this salad is so creative! I love the idea of pairing it with stone fruit, and those curry croutons sound scrumptious!

    1. LOVE delicata, so amazing - this is simialiar but seemed to be a little sweeter - I hope you get a chance to try it, I just know you will love it!


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