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ROASTED SQUASH AND BABY KALE SALAD

Celebrity chef David Burtka shares a healthy Halloween recipe.

To make this fall salad a little spooky for your  partyspread, place fake rubber spiders or cockroaches around the serving platter. Or even better, serve the salad coming out of a giant rubber spider or cockroach and call it “Bug Gut Salad,” says New York City-based chef David Burtka. See more of his entertaining tips here. 

Serves 6 to 8 

For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1 one-inch piece ginger
  • 3 cups unfiltered apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the Roasted Squash

  • 1 small delicata squash, about ¾ pound
  • 1 small acorn squash, about 1 ½ pounds
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the Spicy Pepitas

  • ¼ cup raw pepitas
  • ¼ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt

For the assembly

  • 5 ounces baby kale
  • 4 ounces aged goat cheese, such as Midnight Moon

For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  1. Thinly slice the ginger (skin and all) and add to a medium saucepan along with the apple cider.  
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a strong simmer and cook until reduced to ½ cup, about 45 minutes. 

  3. Stir in a large pinch of kosher salt and stir until dissolved. Cool completely then strain well.
  4. Whisk in 1 tablespoon vinegar and the olive oil. Taste and add additional vinegar if needed. The dressing should be equal parts sweet and tart and the amount of vinegar you use will greatly depend on how sweet your apple cider is. 

For the roasted squash

  1. Place one rack on the lower third of the oven and one on the upper third. Preheat to 425 degrees.

  2. Slice off both ends of the acorn squash and cut in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut along the ridges of the squash, then slice cross-wise in to ½-inch thick pieces.

  3. Transfer the cut acorn squash to a large baking sheet.

  4. Slice off both ends of the delicata squash and cut in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Slice each piece of squash in to ¼-inch thick pieces. Transfer the cut delicata squash to a second large baking sheet.

  5. Divide the olive oil between both baking sheets and season all of the squash liberally with salt and pepper. Use your hands to rub the oil, salt, and pepper into the squash and then spread the squash out evenly on the baking sheets. 

  6. Bake the delicata squash on the upper rack and the acorn squash on the lower rack of the oven for 20 minutes then gently flip both and rotate the baking sheets. Bake until browned in spots, about 10 additional minutes for the delicata and about 20 minutes for the acorn. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

For the spicy pepitas

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

  2. Spread out the pepitas on to a small baking sheet and rub them with olive oil, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt. Bake until puffed and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheet. 

To assemble

  1. Use a peeler to shave large strips of the cheese into a large bowl. Add the baby kale, both roasted squashes, the spicy pepitas, and half of the dressing. Toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional dressing as needed. Serve immediately.