Roasted Fennel, Butternut Squash and Red Onion Salad
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 - 6 as a salad or side dish
Walking through Borough market is truly inspirational. The different cultures, seasons and aromas draw you into this wonder world of food, it spits you out at the other end half bankrupt but wow what an experience! It does not matter when you visit you are guaranteed to be inspired. I have made food pilgrimages to Borough market since 2007 and I never failed to left being inspired .
It’s very rare that ingredients change and only now and then a brand new invention will make the headlines on the market. The inventions and creations evolve with what you do with these ingredients. One of my favourite finds is Arabica food and spice companies blend of ras-el-hanout and their sumac is pretty special too. After all these years it’s still two of my favourite finds at Borough market.
This recipe is perfect large statement salad, it goes a long way and you can ‘feed’ many people with only few ingredients. I like to make this for family BBQ and or serve it at a buffet either warm or at room temperature. It’s prefect to be a meal in itself or served as a accompaniment with roast pork, grilled salmon or grilled polpette (meatballs).
Ingredients & Method
For the salad
- 1 bulb of fennel, choose one with the green leaves
- 2 red onions
- ½ butternut squash with seeds
- 4tbs virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout
- 1 teaspoon linseeds
Ras el Hanout Dressing
- 1tbs sesame oil
- ¼ tsp Ras el Hanout
- 1tbs dark soy sauce
- 1tbs extra virgin olive o
Preheat the oven to 220°C and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Peel the onions, cut the hairy bits from the roots but do not remove the root stump. Cut the onions through the stump into 8.
Wash the fennel, remove the green leaves and place them in the fridge until serving. Cut the fennel like the onions through the stump root into wedges.
Scrub the butternut squash with a vegetable brush under cold running water. Cut the half, keep the one half for another recipe. Scrape the seeds out and set aside. Keep the skin on and cut the butternut squash in wedges.
Place the fennel, butternut squash and onions in a large mixing bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the ras-el-hanout, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread the vegetables on the lined baking tray. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until tender and golden brown. Stir a couple of times for an even colouring.
While the vegetables are roasting wash the squash seeds to remove the inter connective bits, spread them onto a lined baking tray with the linseeds and the remaining ras-el-hanout and oil, mix and place in the oven below the roasted vegetables, roast for 15 minutes, stir once or twice.
In the meantime make the vinaigrette. Use a small clean jam jar with a tight fitting lid. Place all the ingredients in the jar, close and shake vigorously.
Once the vegetables are cooked, let them cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the warm vegetables to a large mixing bowl add the dressing and toss.
Serve on a platter garnished with the fennel seed tops and toasted pumpkin seeds.