Ok, so we’ve had the big meat fest, time to lighten up – and this warm winter salad of smoked butternut squash and feta cheese is just the job writes Sandra Tate …
Smoking the squash & feta cheese
First I prepared a medium butternut squash by peeling, halving, removing the seeds and fibres (by scooping with a spoon), and then cutting into 2cm cubes. I left the feta in a block but patted it dry with kitchen towel.
How smoky you want the cheese and squash to be is entirely up to you, I wanted a light smokiness and did this by placing all on a tray in the Bradley Smoker and cold-smoked them with cherry bisquettes for 40 minutes. Test the flavour by breaking off a small piece of cheese and leave longer if you want the flavour to be more pronounced.
Smoked Butternut Squash & Feta Salad
I serve the smoked butternut squash warm, and if you’re toasting the seeds yourself you can add them to the plate direct from the skillet too. The mixed seeds add a delightful nutty crunch to the salad – but you might also like to add crispy bacon lardons too!
Ingredients – serves 4
diced, smoked butternut squash (see above)
olive oil for roasting
150g smoked feta cheese
50g wild rocket leaves
50g toasted mixed seeds
2tbsp light olive oil
2tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Preheat the oven to 220°C
Toss the diced, smoked squash in enough olive oil to lightly coat it and season liberally with salt and pepper. Spread over a baking tray and transfer to the oven to roast for 20 minutes, or until it is tinged with colour and is tender when probed with the tip of a small, sharp knife.
2 Remove from the oven and toss the dice in a large bowl together with the light olive oil and balsamic to dress it. Add the rocket leaves and turn briefly with your fingers. Divide between 4 plates. Crumble pieces of smoked feta over the squash and sprinkle with toasted seeds. Serve immediately with warm, crusty bread.