That’s a title and a half, isn’t it?
Anyway. Let’s talk about salad. As a rule, we Brits don’t do salad very well. Limp lettuce, soggy cucumber and a few shrivelled pieces of tomato, drowned in dressing and served on the side of a burger is about as good as we get. Compare this to the rich, delicious salads available around the world and it puts us to shame.
A salad doesn’t have to be a side, or the token thing you eat to feel like you’re healthy. Expect more from your salads. A salad can be hearty. A salad can be tasty. A salad can be satisfying. A salad can be this.
I think I’ve found the formula to make the perfect salad, and this salad was made using that formula. It was so delicious that as I was making it, I got really hungry. It was so filling that when I ate it, I felt satisfied enough to resist the biscuits. It is a good salad.
Shall I stop saying salad, now? Can I talk about this balsamic vinegar instead?
Now, the thing that really gives this salad a kick is the fact that the butternut squash is tossed with balsamic, and a good balsamic vinegar is the key to the whole recipe.
This is one I found in Borough Market. I spotted a stall offering freebies and jumped on it, dipping a little square of bread into a pot of vinegar and popping it in my mouth. No word of a lie, I let out a little moan of balsamicy pleasure and I had my purse out before I’d even swallowed. I love this stuff. It’s the best balsamic vinegar I’ve ever tasted, and it’s by these guys.
But enough yabbering. The recipe!
- A medium butternut squash
- Two large handfuls of baby spinach
- A small cucumber
- A large apple, green or red
- 90g feta cheese
- Two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel and dice the butternut squash flesh. Scatter them in an oven proof dish, spray well with Fry Light/drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper and toss well. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing and re-spraying halfway through
- Dice the cucumber, the apple and the cheese
- When the squash is ready, pour over the balsamic vinegar and toss well to coat
- Pile everything in a dish and pour over any extra balsamic vinegar
- If making this to take to work, don't toss the squash in the balsamic vinegar and only add it, the feta and the cucumber just before eating