This substantial salad is something of a River Cottage classic, and a great way to bring together two of autumn’s finest ingredients: mushrooms and squash. Blue cheese is quite delicious here but you could use other cheeses – shavings of Parmesan, a hard goat’s cheese such as Ticklemore, or a firm ewe’s milk cheese such as Berkswell would also work well.duck
- 1 small squash, such as butternut, Crown Prince, onion or Harlequin, or ½ larger one (about 1kg)
- 12 sage leaves, bruised
- 4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 100ml rapeseed or olive oil
- A large knob of butter
- 300g open-cap mushrooms, thickly sliced
- A small bunch of rocket
- 150g blue cheese, such as Harbourne blue, Dorset Blue Vinny or Stilton, crumbled
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (ideally apple balsamic)
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Peel, halve and deseed the squash. Cut into 2–3cm chunks and put into a roasting tin with the sage leaves, garlic, all but 1 tablespoon of the oil and a generous
seasoning of salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring once, or until soft and coloured at the edges.
Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan with the butter and place over a medium heat. Throw in the mushrooms along with a little salt and pepper and fry for 4–5 minutes, or until they are cooked through and any liquid they release has evaporated.
For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the oil and balsamic vinegar together with some salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the still-warm (but not hot) cooked squash and mushrooms with the rocket and cheese. Add enough dressing to dress them lightly (you may not need it all), toss together and serve.
This recipe features in “River Cottage Veg Every Day”, published by Bloomsbury, and available from rivercottage.net.