Here’s a seasonal salad that can be served alone or as a side dish. The bright, contrasting colours add eye appeal, while the maple syrup dressing adds a hint of sweetness to please all palates and ages.
1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 collard leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup (125 ml) pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
1/4 cup (60 mL) hemp hearts
3 Tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled goats’ feta (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
Pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cut butternut squash into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) chunks. Place in large bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Season with a little salt and pepper and spread cubes out in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in centre of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or just until tender. Squash should be slightly firm, not mushy. Remove and place pan on cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
Remove centre ribs from collards and cut leaves in half lengthwise. Then stack leaves one on top of the other and thinly slice into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) ribbons. Bring pot of water to a boil. Stir in collards and swirl around. Bring to a boil. Immediately strain through fine sieve and plunge blanched collards into bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Strain again and spread on clean kitchen cloth or paper towel and blot dry. Set aside.
Combine dressing ingredients in large salad bowl. Whisk vigorously until emulsified. Add collards and butternut cubes to dressing and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, hemp hearts, and cilantro. Gently toss a couple of times to lightly distribute. Add salt and pepper to taste if you wish. Sprinkle with feta.
Serve immediately or cover and leave at room temperature for up to an hour before serving.
Each serving contains: 156 calories; 5 g protein; 11 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 14 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 33 mg sodium
source: “Hemp Power“, alive #384, October 2014