This veggie-centric salad is so good for you but the bit of fresh mozzarella and the hint of sweetness in the vinaigrette make it feel decadent. Or you could remove the maple syrup entirely and the roasting of the squash still brings a wonderful caramel flavor to this dish. It's the perfect sweet and savory way to welcome pumpkin season!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 kabocha squash or small pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 small shallot, minced
- Fresh herbs, minced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 heads frisée lettuce
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella
- Maple-shallot vinaigrette, to taste (recipe above)
- 1/2 cup toasted pepitas (optional)
- Flaked sea salt, to finish
- Olive oil, to finish
For the pumpkin:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Rinse and dry pumpkin. Slice into even wedges, 1 to 2 inches thick.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, cumin, chile powder and salt. Add the pumpkin and toss to combine well. Arrange pumpkin wedges on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until segments are tender, sticky and caramelized, and the underside is deeply golden brown, about 30 minutes.
For the maple-shallot vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well combined.
For the salad:
1. Chop or tear the frisée lettuce into bite-sized pieces, then wash and dry.
2. Chop 1 fresh mozzarella ball into 1-inch cubes. Just before serving, gently toss lettuce and cheese together with vinaigrette, to taste.
3. Top the roasted pumpkin with a generous serving of salad. Finish with a sprinkle of toasted pepitas for crunch, if desired, flaked sea salt and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.