Saturday, October 31, 2015

Delicata Squash and Chard Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

I bought a Delicata Squash the other day and I've never actually cooked one before - I usually stick with Butternut or Acorn Squash. What's different about Delicata is that the peel is edible and beautiful with it's dark green stripes. And you know I love food to be beautiful! So, I decided to make it in a way that my German Grandfather, Frank Rubright liked to make squash. He would cut it in half, take out the seeds and cook the squash cut side down in an oiled cast iron skillet until it was done. Of course, I modified this technique just a bit creating a bit of steam as well to cook it a little faster. What ends up happening is that the layer of the squash that is in contact with the pan gets caramelized and the rest of the squash stays soft. It gives you two textures with one cooking method. Then, you cut of the squash into thin slices, add it to cut up Swiss Chard leaves and drizzle it all with a salad dressing made of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, pieces of a Navel Orange and Rice Vinegar. This combination creates a delicious and different kind of dressing - a little bit spicy and sweet, with the Orange and Rice Vinegar adding some tang to balance the flavor. Since it's now Squash Season, this dish is one that you need to try!

Delicata Squash and Chard Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

1 Delicata Squah (as small and narrow as possible), cut in half, seeds scraped out
1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil 
1/2 cup Water
1 bunch of Swiss Chard, washed, pulled from the stems and torn into small pieces.
1 Navel Orange, peeled and cut up into small pieces, reserve juice from cutting
2 Tablespoons Thai Chili Garlic Sauce
1 clove Garlic minced
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
Pepper to taste

Oil a cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat until hot.  Put the Delicata Squash cut side down and cook until browned.  Then add 1/2 cup water and cover and cook until the water is    absorbed.  Remove squash from the pan and cut into thin slices - cut slices in half again if too large.

In a small bowl, mix together the Thai Chili Garlic Sauce, Garlic, Rice Vinegar, reserved Orange Juice and Vegetable Oil. Toss in the Orange pieces. Put Swiss Chard on a plate and add the pieces of Squash. Drizzle with the dressing to serve.  

Five Element Analysis

Squash belongs to the Earth Element and the sweetness of the Thai Chili Garlic Sauce makes this salad even Earthier. The Swiss Chard, Orange and Rice Vinegar contribute the Wood Element. The Garlic brings in the Metal Element and the Chili in the Thai Chili Garlic Sauce and Pepper add some Fire. Only the Water Element is missing so this would be great served with Fish or some other seafood, or Pork to create a Five Element meal.

No comments:

Post a Comment