On the menu this season is butternut squash. Thinking of something light, I was inspired to make a salad with autumn colors and an Asian twist. And for your Trader Joe’s fans out there, all ingredients are available there.
The butternut squash is available whole or already precut in cubes – follow the instructions for heating on the package. My favorite deep fried onions are imported from Holland. Used as garnish in many Indo food dishes. It’s the can with the green lid, available only this season. You may want to stock up on that and use that for other dishes for that extra special crunch.
For the dressing, I picked an Asian vinaigrette with sesame oil and rice vinegar. Easy to make and also tasty to drizzle on a spinach or noodles salad.
Instead of tossing it all up and throwing it on a plate, I decided to spend some more time on making the ingredients look more appetizing. I was reminded of the old adage “you eat with your eyes first”. Plating is like an art form which involves creativity, strategy, careful balance and cleanliness. Best of all, I had myself some fun laying everything out, like painting with autumn colors on a porcelain canvas. I am learning as I go. Now you have a try.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Place cubed buttersquash in a bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Place butternut squash on sheet pan.
Roast for 15-20 min. Turn once until tender.
Cut the cucumber in cubes.
Different colored carrots thinly sliced rounds.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
Cut the green part of spring onions (scallions) in thin slices.
Take a couple of cilantro leaves.
Tablespoon of deep-fried onion pieces (at Trader Joe’s imported from Holland)
Make the dressing
Sesame oil to rice vinegar is 1:1 for a tangy and flavorful taste. If you prefer less tangy dressing do 2:1.
Finely chop Italian parsley. Add a pinch of salt. Mix together in a jar.
Optional: a dash of soy sauce and finely chopped garlic.
If you want to eat something light with this salad, I can recommend the Oriental Mushroom Omelette. Click here.