Warm salad of mushrooms and roasted squash
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.
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.
- 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)
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