Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Warm Butternut Squash Salad; Mexican Sushi

We had a "guinea pig Super Bowl" with lots of great new recipes. I'm still waiting on the recipes from the other people at the party (hint hint), but here are the recipes that Gary and I made.

Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad

I got this from the Smitten Kitchen blog. A nice healthy alternative to greasy Super Bowl food, and so delicious! Photo from Smitten Kitchen.

Yield: 4 servings (I think it's more than this, personally)

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (I found precut squash at Harris Teeter... it was not very expensive and made life so much easier!)
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (I used parsley)

For dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini (I used almond butter)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft (It took me closer to 40 minutes). Optional step-- I threw in the chickpeas for the last ten minutes to let them soften a bit. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini (or almond butter), and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty flavor, but also a little kick of lemon.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve warm.

Mexican Sushi

Gary made this dish. They are basically bite-sized wraps, but "sushi" sounds better! These were really tasty-- I might make these as a larger wrap sandwich for lunch one day. Photo and recipe from familyfun.com.


16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup salsa, plus more for dipping
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips


In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, salsa, chili powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, lightly sprinkle the avocado with the lime juice to prevent browning.

Trim each tortilla to make a roughly 6-1/2-inch square. Spread 3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on a tortilla. Arrange 2 rows of spinach in the center of the tortilla, then top them with a row each of red pepper, yellow pepper, and avocado. Roll the tortilla up tightly and wrap it in plastic wrap. Repeat for the remaining tortillas. Refrigerate the rolls for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.

Right before serving, slice the rolls crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces and spoon extra salsa into a bowl for dipping.
Serves 10 to 12.


kate said...

I have all the ingredients for the Squash Salad, so I might make that on Friday. Did it seem like it would keep for a few days (a requirement for cooking single people)?

Liza said...

Well, I brought leftovers for lunch today, so I hope so! :) I would think it would reheat well. The original recipe suggests that you keep the dressing separate and add it as you eat. I think it would probably reheat better if it was without dressing... I didn't do that, though.