Roasted Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Tahini is a power ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, but still hasn’t completely made its way into the mainstream in the US.  You can find it in some specialty grocery stores and in the international section of regular grocery stores, and it should absolutely become part of your ingredient lineup.

It’s nutty, mellow, and ever so slightly bitter.  Tahini is the key ingredient in classic hummus and is also one of my favorite ingredients for salad dressings.  Yep, salad dressing!  It’s a great, healthy way to make creamy salad dressings, and a little bit goes a long way.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Another ubiquitous Middle Eastern ingredient is pomegranate molasses, which I’m particularly fond of using on roasted vegetables.  It’s a wonderfully tangy contrast to earthy tahini so pairing them together in this roasted squash salad works so well.

So you’ve got sweet and mellow dressing paired with tangy roasted squash, and the whole thing is finished with salty shavings of pecorino cheese and smoky roasted squash seeds.  It’s a salad that’s anything but boring.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Roasted Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Maple Tahini Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For the Roasted Squash Salad

  • 2 medium delicata squash, washed and sliced in half moons
  • Seeds of 2 delicata squash
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tbsp pomegranate molasses (or balsamic glaze)
  • 1 head kale, washed and torn
  • 4 oz shaved pecorino romano cheese

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Start by making the salad dressing.  Advance warning that you might want to make a double batch of this – it’s insanely good.  Mix the tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a small mixing bowl.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425 and begin prepping the squash.  Delicata squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables – I love that you don’t have to worry about peeling the skin which makes it really easy to prep.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Rinse the seeds in a fine mesh strainer before roasting, just like you would with pumpkin seeds.  Then cut the squash in slices about an inch thick, so you end up with little half moons of delicata squash.

Pat dry the seeds and toss them together on a baking sheet with 1/4 tsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp smoky paprika.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Next, mix the delicata squash slices with the remaining avocado oil, and kosher salt as well as the dark brown sugar.  Roast both the squash and their seeds at 425 for 12-15 minutes.

Remove the seeds from the oven when they are golden and toasty.  At that point in time, toss the roasted squash with the pomegranate molasses and roast for an additional 2 minutes to caramelize the squash.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Now you’re ready to start assembling the salad.  Wash the kale and cut it into small bite sized strips.  Toss the kale with the dressing so each little bit is evenly coated, and top the salad with roasted squash slices.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Sprinkle each plate with some of the delicata squash seeds and finish it with shavings of pecorino romano cheese.  These two additions really bring the salad together and give you delicious, salty punches in every bite.

The squash makes this salad hearty enough for a light, main meal but you could also serve it is a simple side salad.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Bon appétit!

Roasted Squash Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

A simple salad all about contrasts - mellow tahini dressing with sweet and tangy roasted squash and salty kicks of pecorino cheese.  

Course Salad
Cuisine American, Middle Eastern
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

For the Maple Tahini Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For the Roasted Squash Salad

  • 2 medium delicata squash washed and sliced in half moons
  • Seeds of 2 delicata squash
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil divided
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt divided
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tbsp pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze
  • 1 head kale washed and torn
  • 4 oz shaved pecorino romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Start by making the salad dressing.  Mix the tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a small mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 and begin prepping the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rinse the seeds in a fine mesh strainer before roasting.

  3. Cut the squash in slices about an inch thick, so you end up with little half moons of delicata squash.

  4. Pat dry the seeds and toss them together on a baking sheet with 1/4 tsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp smoky paprika.
  5. Mix the delicata squash slices with the remaining avocado oil, and kosher salt as well as the dark brown sugar. Roast both the squash and their seeds at 425 for 12-15 minutes.

  6. Remove the seeds from the oven.  Toss the squash with the pomegranate molasses and roast the squash only for an additional 2 minutes

  7. Wash the kale and cut it into small bite sized strips. Toss the kale with the dressing so each little bit is evenly coated, and top the salad with roasted squash slices.

  8. Sprinkle each plate with some of the delicata squash seeds and finish it with shavings of pecorino romano cheese. 



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