One of our favourite places to eat as of late is the newly opened Public Kitchen and Bar in Kitchener. While reserved for special occasions, the experience of ordering the tiny plates of magic, aka their tapas is right up our alley. The flavour combinations are exciting and frankly their ingredients taste so fresh! One dish that really stood out to us on our last visit was their Roasted Squash salad with garlic vinaigrette, manchego cheese and toasted breadcrumbs. It was served on a bed of baby greens. After declaring after perhaps one too many cocktails, “This is the best salad I have ever had!”, I decided to try to recreate it at home. Here is the attempt, while it didn’t quite live up to the best salad comment, it has become a go to stable especially when entertaining. Feel free to substitute the vinaigrette depending on what you have in the fridge, just remember that it needs to be quite heavy on the flavour side to stand up to the squash.
Roasted Squash Salad with Arugula, Parmesan cheese and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Inspired by the Squash Salad from Public Kitchen and Bar http://www.mpcpublic.com/
- 1/2 butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (could use Italian)
- 1/2 tablespoon walnut oil (or any nut oil)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic minced finely
- 2 cups baby arugula
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1 large shallot sliced thinly
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 °C
- Toss squash with olive oil and salt and pepper and place in hot oven, cooking for 30-40 minutes or until slightly browned stirring at least twice.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette by combining the mustard, shallots, vinegar and salt and pepper.
- Slowly add in the olive oil while whisking the vinegar base to emulsify the dressing. Set aside.
- Use a mandolin or the slice side of a cheese grater to grate thin slices of the parmesan cheese and set aside.
- With 5 minutes left on the squash, heat nut oil in pan with butter over medium heat and add in garlic and breadcrumbs. Toast for approximately 5 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and the breadcrumbs are beginning to brown. Stir often to avoid burning. **note, for this step it is better to under cook/toast the breadcrumbs and garlic than burn**
- Remove squash from oven and remove breadcrumbs from heat.
- Toss the arugula in the majority of dressing, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons to drizzle once plated.
- Assemble your plate by placing the arugula at the bottom of the bowl, the breadcrumbs next, topped with the squash and the cheese. Drizzle the remaining dressing on the salad and enjoy!