This is a truly satisfying salad with a mouth-watering combination of sweet, earthy and zingy flavours; total comfort food but with a little nod towards Spring!
1 medium sized butternut squash
2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely diced
3 flat mushrooms, sliced
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
6 or 7 vine tomatoes, quartered
1 red onion, finely sliced
1-2 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 big handfuls of spinach leaves
1 big handful of pumpkin seeds, toasted
1. Set the oven to 180c/ 350f/ gas mark 4.
2. Peel and deseed the butternut squash before cutting it into chunky pieces. Transfer them onto a large roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and allow the squash to roast for 35-40 minutes or until it becomes tender all the way through and caramelised around the edges.
3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, honey and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Place the onions, chilli and tomatoes into the bowl, pour over and mix in your dressing and set aside.
4. When the butternut squash is almost ready, gently cook the garlic in a 2 teaspoons of olive oil for a couple of minutes in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and allow them to cook, stirring occasionally until the have softened all the way through.
5. Transfer the roasted squash and cooked mushrooms, along with any remaining oil and garlic in the pan into the mixing bowl with the onions, tomatoes and dressing. Add the spinach leaves and mix everything together.
We love this salad warm or at room temperature, tumbled onto a serving board with the toasted pumpkin seeds scattered over the top. Pop it in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves and watch it disappear!