Au­tumn salad of roast squash with Ser­rano ham and manchego

Serves 6

Living Etc - - ENTERTAINING / ETC -

For the salad * 600g but­ter­nut or co­quina squash, peeled, de­seeded and cubed

* 3 tbsp olive oil * 50g squash or pump­kin seeds * ½ tsp pa­prika * 150g sliced ser­rano ham

* 50g manchego cheese, any rind re­moved * 2 hand­fuls wa­ter­cress, any thick stems re­moved

For the dress­ing * 1 gar­lic clove, peeled and bruised (ie bashed with the base of a jar) * 2 tbsp sherry vine­gar

* 4 tbsp ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

* ½ tsp di­jon mus­tard * a pinch caster su­gar Pre­heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Toss the squash with 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil, sea­son gen­er­ously and spread out on a roast­ing tray and roast for 30 min­utes, un­til golden and soft. Set aside to cool to room tem­per­a­ture. Mean­while, toss the squash or pump­kin seeds with the re­main­ing ta­ble­spoon of olive oil, a lit­tle salt and the pa­prika. Spread out on a sep­a­rate bak­ing tray and roast for about 6 min­utes, un­til lightly toasted.

Make the dress­ing by vig­or­ously shak­ing the bruised gar­lic clove, sherry vine­gar, olive oil, mus­tard, su­gar and a lit­tle salt and pep­per to­gether in a lid­ded jam jar. This can be done up to 4 days ahead of time and kept in the fridge. To serve the salad, gen­tly toss the ham, wa­ter­cress and squash to­gether with the dress­ing in a serv­ing bowl. Shave the cheese over with a veg­etable peeler and scat­ter with the roast pump­kin seeds to fin­ish.

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