A cool vegetarian option for a lazy evening in front of the ball game ... it's Red Sox season and we're timing meals around 'first pitch'. This easy supper was a way to have a meatless meal and work the fresh herbs that are coming on strong in the gardens. Paired with some of the first fresh lettuce greens, it made for a perfect springtime meal.
The spices in the salad are so interesting! The squash had a sweet and spicy smell while it roasted.
Paired with mellow cannellini beans and a lemony Greek yogurt dressing, the spices and sugars in the squash made for a good foil to the tart dressing.
The fennel seeds get ground up and mixed with ground coriander, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes, and mint. I KNOW! Strange, huh? But it worked!
Sprinkled over the squash before it was roasted, it made the kitchen smell wonderful. As the squash browned up, the smells only got stronger and more interesting! SB and I both agreed that this one is a keeper. The only thing I will change is tossing the beans with only a bit of the dressing and then drizzling it over top of the platter so that the salad has a more pleasing presentation. Once it hits the plate, we can toss it together. I'd also add some more chopped mint and perhaps chives to the top of the dish; the herbs and spices make this dish and play off the sweetness of the squash and the softness of the beans. YUM!
Roasted Butternut and White Bean Salad
a recipe from The Essential Diabetes Cookbook - Antony Worrall Thompson
Serves 3 - 4
1 tsp. ground fennel seeds
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried or fresh mint
1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into big bite-sized cubes
olive oil for brushing on the roasting pan and coating the squash
juice of one lemon
1/3 c. Greek style yogurt, plain
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 - 15 oz. can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained well
1/4 c. pine nuts or pepitas, toasted and set aside
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
snipped chives and fresh mint leaves for garnish
Making the Dish:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush a large rimmed cookie sheet with olive oil.
2. Prep the squash and toss with a few teaspoons of olive oil to coat. Spread out in one layer on the cookie sheet.
3. In a small bowl, mix the ground spices and mint together. Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over the squash. Cover lightly with a piece of foil and place in the hot oven.
4. Roast the squash for 30 minutes. The remove the foil, toss and turn the squash to crisp up the other sides of the cubes. Continue roasting uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
5. While the squash is roasting, combine the Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to make a dressing. Toast the seeds in a dry fry pan and then empty them to a small plate and set aside. Drain the beans and let them dry up just a bit.
6. When you have cooled the squash a couple minutes, turn it to a pretty platter.
7. Toss the beans with enough of the dressing to just coat them, then arrange them over the squash.
8. Drizzle the rest of the dressing here and there over top, sprinkle on the pine nuts (or pepitas), and sprinkle on the fresh chives, mint, and salt and pepper.
9. Serve with grilled meats or a ham roast - lamb chops would be awesome ! Also simply wonderful with a plates of fresh greens.