Last fall I discovered Tamar Adler’s sweet potato salad with chilies, lime and cilantro. For whatever reason, I mashed it all together, turning it into a sort-of sweet potato guacamole. Recently I’ve been making a salad more true to Tamar’s original recipe using delicata squash in place of the sweet potato, and I find it completely irresistible. The slices of delicata squash, dressed simply with olive oil and salt, caramelize in the oven, emerging golden all around, tasting like candy.
Delicata squash, if you are unfamiliar, is one of the easiest of all the squashes to prepare. You can cut through its skin easily with a knife, and you can eat the skin once roasted—it’s truly delicious.
Here, a tart dressing, made with shallots and jalapeños macerated in lime juice, so nicely complements the sweet squash, and a showering of cilantro at the end offers a blast of freshness. This is a very simple salad to prepare—this little Facebook Live video proves it—and if you load up a sheet pan, this will feed six as a side dish. For a small Thanksgiving dinner, this would be a super refreshing addition to the menu.
Wishing you all a Happy Happy Thanksgiving!
To get the squash evenly golden on both side, roast them first for about 25 minutes, then stick the pan under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes.
This is a variation of a favorite Tamar Adler recipe. I made a variation of her sweet potato salad last year, which I also love, but I find this one with delicata squash to be so incredibly delicious. Here’s a Facebook Live video of assembling the salad. Incidentally, we made this at the cooking class I taught at 1334 Union on Friday, and everyone loved it—the delicata squash is SO good. I’ve been buying mine at the Niskayuna Co-op.
- 2 delicata squash, ends trimmed, seeds removed, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
- kosher salt to taste
- 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 jalapeno or more to taste, finely diced
- 1 lime, halved
- 1 small bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Rub a small amount of olive oil over a rimmed sheetpan. Throw the squash slices onto the sheet pan, drizzle with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and season generously with salt — squash can handle it. (For a full sheet pan, I use 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.) Arrange the slices into a single layer. Place pan in oven on middle rack and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes—pick one up to check; if the squash is browning too quickly, lower the temperature to 400ºF. Roast until the underside of the squash slices is evenly browned, then stick pan under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes or until the top is evenly golden—keep an eye on it the entire time. Remove pan from the oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the sliced shallot and jalapeño in a small bowl. Juice half of the lime over top. Season with a pinch of salt. Let it macerate while the squash roasts.
- Arrange the squash slices on a platter. Scatter the macerated shallots and jalapeño over top. Scatter the cilantro over top. Serve with more lime wedges on the side.