Baked squash salad with date molasses dressing


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New Year, New us! After the holidays, I always crave something a little healthier: baked butternut squash with quinoa and date molasses dressing.

Over the Xmas holidays, I couldn’t but succumb to the inviting trays of melomakarona & kourabiethes. One a day, I said. It wasn’t just one and I certainly had more than my fare share , perhaps a bit too much even for my sweet tooth. You see, I have kept to the traditional family recipes where trays of sweets are made and meant to be shared across the family. Even during lockdown, I could not bring myself to scale them down. I did share them around and I have a few very happy neighbours! But their reciprocated! Which means the trays of sweets never seem to go down. I have to start jogging!

Baked squash date molasses

But It has been a peaceful and extremely tasty break. I even managed to finish Toast from Nigel Slater, a copy that had been to the back of the shelves since time immemorial. This break has again left me with the urge for something healthier. A warm salad will do! Inspired by Slater obviously!

Quinoa is my go-to seed for wholesome, filling salads. And baked butternut squash has become a bit of a staple. I simply cannot resist the warmth of the kitchen whilst the oven and the squash is quietly bubbling. On this salad though, the dressing is definitely the winner! No other than date molasses. Date molasses, with a bit of olive oil, a pressed garlic and a bit of mustard. You will absolutely love it!

Baked squash date molasses

I found it first at one Nigel Slater’s recipes published in the Guardian, a couple of year’s back. I had made it back then and as with all things when you have your hands busy, it fell into the cracks. Redone here, because a good thing needs to be shared and enjoyed!

Baked butternut squash with quinoa and date molasses dressing

  • 1 butternut squash
  • olive oil 60ml
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 100 g quinoa
  • 5-6 stalks of parsley leaves
  • 4 tsp date molasses
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon (for its juice)
  • 1 tsp grain mustard
  1. Preheat the oven at 180C, as you prepare the squash.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half, remove all hair and seeds; then slice at about 1 inch thick. You can make the pieces as large or small as you like.
  3. Coat with olive oil and bake for around 35-40 minutes. This depends on how big your squash is, prick with a fork to check how soft it is.
  4. Meanwhile boil the quinoa according to packet instructions and season with a bit of salt.
  5. Prepare the dressing, simple whip together the olive oil, mustard, date molasses, pressed garlic and the lemon juice.
  6. Once the squash is ready, place the quinoa on a plate and then follow with the baked squash. Drizzle with the date molasses dressing and a bit of parsley.

Recipe adapted by Nigel Slater Golden Autumnal Recipes

I hope you enjoy this warm salad in excellent company!

from London with love,

Eugenia

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3 thoughts on “Baked squash salad with date molasses dressing

  1. Anonymous says:

    This sounds lovely, and I have ALMOST all of the ingredients sitting patiently in my cupboard.
    BUT (isn’t there always a but?), I don’t have date molasses and nor do I know where I might find some in the foreseeable future. Could I use honey with a dash of balsamic vinegar as a substitute?

  2. Mandi says:

    This sounds lovely and I have nearly all the ingredients sitting in my cupboard.
    What I don’t have is date molasses – can I substitute it with something? Maybe honey with a little balsamic vinegar?

    • Eugenia says:

      Hey Mandi! Honey is the best substitute for molasses! If you have a dark honey like fir tree honey it will work even better as date is sweet and rich but quite runny. Balsamic will definitely work on this and give a very nice edge, let me know how it goes!!

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