Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Sweet Chilli and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Sweet Chilli and Butternut Squash Salad

Ladies and gents, this has been a pretty crazy long weekend. I spent Thursday night and most of Friday baking up over 100 cupcakes to both fulfil a few orders and take to Groby Family Fun Day for my first stall with Nancy's Sweet Treat Boutique. Believe me when I say that pretty much everything in our kitchen was coated in a fine layer of icing sugar by the end of it!

The resulting evening cleaning session was really worth it though as I sold out within an hour and a half of the fair opening and got lots of interest for custom orders. It really boosted my cupcaking confidence as this was my first fair and had been pretty sure I'd be taking quite a few cakes home - I guess now I know for next time to make even more! Here are some that sold the quickest - vanilla cupcakes baked into wafer cones and frosted to look like cool tasty ice creams!

Vanilla Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes - www.sweet-treat-boutique.co.uk

Needless to say I was bushed by the time we got home after the fair and cooking was the last thing on my mind, so what did I do? ...I made meatloaf for dinner. I guess you just can't keep me out of the kitchen! Minimal cooking was done on Sunday however but by Monday morning my mind was right back in the refrigerator.

A butternut squash had been purchased and so I was trying to think of something a little different to our usual squash risotto with cashew nuts and red wine that was also healthy and relatively low in fat - it is one of my best friends' weddings on the 17th and I have a gorgeous dress that I have to look fabulous in. So what is a healthy dinner? Why salas of course! No boring cucumber and iceberg and unripe tomato disasters here though - nice hot roasted butternut squash chunks over a lettuce, bean and onion base with some sesame seeds for crunch and a dose of heat with a sweet chilli dressing (which would be fabulous over pasta too I think).

Sweet Chilli and Butternut Squash Salad

Sweet Chilli and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Serves 2 for a main course of 4 for a starter

Salad Ingredients
600-700g butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced into 1-2cm cubes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-2 tsp olive oil
2 little gem lettuces, sliced any way you like
half a red onion, sliced very thinly and doused with a little lemon juice
400g tin flageolet beans, drained and rinsed (265g drained weight)
1 stick of celery cut into half cm chunks
3 tbsp sesame seeds

Dressing Ingredients (this will make more than you need, you can just refridgerate the rest for up to a week)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin / rice wine (optional)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Spread the butternut squash onto a baking tray in an even layer and cover with the olive oil and crushed garlic, cook in a preheated oven on high for 25-30 minutes until softened and going slightly caramelised and crispy.

While the squash is cooking prepare all the other ingredients but the sesame seeds and divide between the two bowls. Next mix all the dressing ingredients well and pour about a quarter over each bowl of salad, then toss to coat everything.

When the squash is cooked divide it between the two salad bowls and then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.


  1. I will undertand if it's a trade secret - but can I ask whether you bake the cake mix inside the cones or pop the cooked sponge in afterwards? I love them so much and they would be utterly perfect for a fete I'm doing in a couple of weeks...

  2. Sorry I didn't reply sooner!

    The cake was baked right into the cones, just make sure you don't fill them more than two thirds full or the cake will drip down the cones as it bakes ;)