Roasted Squash, Red Onion and Chickpea Salad
Once the weather starts to turn cool in autumn, I find myself adding all sorts of delicious roasted veggies to my salads. Squash is a favourite, as are Brussels sprouts, potatoes and cauliflower. My two go-to fall dressings include the creamy cashew and apple cider vinegar one featured here, and a maple tahini one, which I’ll write about in an upcoming post. They lend the perfect creaminess and brightness to earthy fall salads.
Salads are a year round fixture in our home, but the fall and winter months are a great time to venture beyond our usual summery combinations, and discover some new-to-us seasonal produce. Roasting truly transforms even the most humble vegetable into something quite delicious. This recipe is meant to be a bit of a template, so I hope you’ll feel free to swap in whatever you have on hand. The dressing is heavy on the garlic – if you’re not quite as much of a garlic lover as I am, you can reduce the quantity or simply omit it.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
• 1 Delicata squash, halved lengthwise, deseeded, and sliced into ½” half moon slices
• 1 cup cooked chickpeas, washed and drained
• 1 red onion, ends trimmed, peeled, and cut into 8 wedges
• 4 cups watercress (or other salad greens), washed and dried
• 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
• ⅓ cup water
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 3 tbsp raw cashews
• 1 garlic clove, peeled
• 1½ tbsp maple syrup
• ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, spread ½ a tablespoon of olive oil on each of two baking sheets, then put the chickpeas one one, and the red onion and squash on the other. Add another ½ tablespoon of olive oil to each baking sheet, as well as ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, and a pinch of ground pepper, and toss the contents of each to combine.
Roast until the chickpeas are golden and crispy, and the squash and onions are soft and cooked through. This should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth. You can also use a glass jar and immersion blender to do this.
Slowly drizzle in the oil, and process a bit longer until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste, and blend again.
Once the vegetables and chickpeas are cooked, remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool slightly.
Distribute the watercress between two dinner plates, then top each plate with half of the squash and onion mixture, and the chickpeas.
Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!
If you won’t be eating the salad right away, keep the dressing separate until serving time. This salad is also delicious served at room temperature, so leftovers make for a great packed lunch.