This salad was born out of left over chorizo after I made a batch of chilli and a sad looking butternut squash that I had bought for a curry I never made! It is surprisingly tasty and very easy to make. I was always a bit meh about eating chorizo as a main ingredient but I’ve discovered that I just wasn’t buying the correct variety and I need to fry it until it is starting to crisp. That’s just my preference, you cook it whichever way you like.
The recipe is to serve two but in reality I roasted the whole squash because there isn’t much point in going to all that effort and having half a squash leftover. This salad is also nice eaten cold so you could use leftovers for lunch the following day with a wrap or flatbread. Or it you have leftover squash, this timely article in the Guardian has plenty of ideas on how to use it up.
You can buy or make your own harissa, it is very easy to make. Adjust the mount of harissa used to taste, the chorizo I use has a nice kick so I kept the harissa to a minimum. Leave out the chorizo if you want to make it meat free, using olive oil in the warm dressing instead. I have to include a link here to Ottolenghi’s Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Onion with Tahini and Za’atar from his book Jerusalem. I love this as a vegetarian side dish and often add feta to make a light meal out of it.
- ½ butternut squash, peeled , de-seeded and cut into 2cm chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp harissa paste
- Salt and pepper
- 1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
- 100g chorizo sliced
- 60g feta cheese
- 1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp runny honey
- Salad leaves – I used a mixture of rocket and spinach
- 25g pine nuts
- Start by roasting the squash. This can be done in advance and served cold or reheated later. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray or roasting dish with parchment or greaseproof paper.
- Mix together the olive oil and harissa paste in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and then toss the diced squash in the mix until completely coated. Spread the squash on the lined baking tray and roast for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, add the onions to the roasting tray and mix thoroughly. Roast for a further 20 minutes or until the squash is soft enough that a knife pierces it easily and the onion has started to caramalise.
- Heat a dry pan over a medium-high heat and toast the pine nuts until they start to turn a nice golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- In the same dry pan fry the chorizo until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper. There should be plenty of gorgeous orange oil in the pan from the chorizo. Add the vinegar and honey to this pan, mix well and cook over a low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm until you are ready to serve.
- When ready to assemble, plate some salad leaves and drizzle over the dressing from the pan. Top with the squash, red onion and chorizo. Crumble over the feta and top with the pine nuts.