Signs of the season changing are all around us, with crisp days and sweater-weather evenings. We slow down to welcome this visually vibrant month with its fields of gold, crimson leaves and a colorful array of produce at the farm stands.
We have all winter long for cozy comfort foods like stews, soups and roasts. I like to ease into autumn and start simply by roasting my favorite squash.
Delicata squash is the inspiration for this month’s Farm to Plate recipe. It’s one of the easiest squashes to cook — a petite size and the skin can stay on. I love how something so seemingly simple can caramelize into something rich and robust when roasted.
Head to the farmers market and load up on any other harvest favorites while you’re there — this season is fabulous but fleeting, so enjoy it all while you can. Combine apples, greens, squash and, of course, it wouldn’t be a celebrated salad without a pretty garnish. Pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries can add the perfect color and texture.
It’s the time of year for making dishes that warm our souls and leave us feeling full and happy — and I’m all for it.
Autumn harvest salad with roasted local delicata squash
- 2 delicata squash
- 1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (plus more below)
- 1 tbsp cHarissa spice (optional), a locally made spice found in North Fork markets
- 1 5-ounce container or 4 cups baby arugula
- 1 Honeycrisp apple
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts (see method)
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 4 oz. ricotta salata
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp Champagne vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
To toast hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Arrange the hazelnuts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fragrant, lightly colored and skins are blistered.
- Removed from oven, wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute. Rub hazelnuts in towel to remove loose skins, set aside and cool completely.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Halve the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and cut into half-inch-thick half-moon shapes. Place squash on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cHarissa spice. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender and golden, flipping halfway.
- Slice the apple into matchstick size. Toss sliced apple, sliced shallots, EVOO, salt, pepper, maple syrup and champagne vinegar in a large bowl. Add arugula and gently toss again.
- Arrange the dressed greens and apples on a large platter. Top with roasted squash, ricotta salata, toasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds.
- Marvel at the beauty of this autumn harvest salad and enjoy!