Brown butter-roasted winter squash salad with Pecorino Toscano Fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds

Brown butter-roasted winter squash salad with Pecorino Toscano Fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds

Roast butternut squash – or any other winter squash – for this superb autumnal salad.

Winter squash is prized for its sweet flesh, which becomes even sweeter when cooked. But sautéed in brown butter, the delicious fruit also acquires a nutty flavor that’s absolutely wonderful.

Here the warm, brown butter-roasted squash slices are paired with crunchy frisée, creamy Pecorino Toscano Fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds. The combination of textures and flavors makes for a mouthwatering, festive salad.

Food & wine pairing: Loire Valley, Vouvray with brown butter-roasted winter squash salad

White wine iconA full-bodied, dry to off-dry, aromatic white is ideal with this flavor-packed salad. Riesling and Gewürztraminer are the first two verietals that come to mind, but you could also pour a Vouvray from the Loire Valley or a Viognier from Southern France. Each wine pairs magnificently with the sweet-fleshed winter squash, the creamy Pecorino and the nutty elements in this dish.

Brown butter-roasted winter squash salad with Pecorino Toscano Fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds

serves 4
active time: 30 min

For the toasted seeds

  1. 3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  2. 1/2 teaspoon toasted pumpkin seed oil
  3. pinch sea salt
  4. freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette

  1. 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons aged sherry wine vinegar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
  4. 1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seed oil
  5. 2 tablespoons almond or walnut oil
  6. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  7. freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the winter squash

  1. 1/2 medium Acorn, Delicata, Carnival or Dumpling squash (12 oz) (340 g)
  2. 2 tablespoons brown butter
  3. sea salt to taste
  4. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. 1 medium frisée (8 oz) (225 g) – leaves cut in 2″ pieces
  2. 3 oz (85 g) Pecorino Toscano Fresco – cut in 1/4″ cubes
  3. freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Step 1:camera icon To toast the seeds – Place the pumpkin seeds, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and toss with your fingers until well coated with the oil. Heat a small heavy-bottomed skillet to medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan frequently, until golden. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Step 2: To make the vinaigrette – Place the shallots, vinegar, maple syrup, oils, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Step 3:camera icon Peel the squash with a vegetable hand-peeler and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half in four 1 1/2″ wide slices. Then cut each slice crosswise in 1/4” slices. Heat a large non-stick frying pan to medium/medium-high heat. Add the brown butter and squash slices. Spread the slices in a single layer and sauté until golden-brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate or tray and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  4. Step 4:camera icon Place the frisée in a large bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss well. Add the cheese and squash slices and toss a couple more times. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and finish with black pepper. Serve immediately.

Dumpling and acorn squash

Viviane’s tip
  1. Pecorino Toscano Fresco is a young Pecorino made with sheep’s milk and aged for about 30 days. I chose it for this salad because it has a creamy texture and a delicious mild, herbaceous flavor that complements the roasted squash perfectly. You can find Pecorino Toscano Fresco in gourmet grocery stores like Whole Foods and Fairway Markets, or online at gourmetfoodstores.com. Manchego, Fontina or a young Asiago (similarly soft-textured) make good substitutes.

Brown butter-roasted winter squash salad with Pecorino Toscano Fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds

salad, winter squash, butternut squash

7 Comments

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