This bright, wintry salad liberates butternut squash from its most common destination: the stockpot. Unlike many winter squashes, butternut is wonderful served raw -- when shaved, its flesh is silky and lightly sweet. A shout must be given to The Bristol in Chicago: It was there that I first ate a version of this salad, with slivered Thai chiles and pomegranate lending colorful crunch.
Shaved Butternut Squash Salad with Sriracha-Citrus Dressing
Makes 2 servings
2 tablespoons sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Sriracha sauce
¼ cup julienned Thai basil
¼ cup roughly chopped dill
1 butternut squash, cut in half and seeded
½ cup raw walnuts or pumpkin seeds
1 bunch scallions, minced (use the white parts plus the more tender part of the green)
For the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk the sour cream, orange juice, rice wine vinegar and Sriracha until emulsified into a loose, creamy dressing. Add the Thai basil and dill, stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad: With a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off one half of the butternut squash (reserve the other half for another use). Use the vegetable peeler to shave ribbons off the outside of the squash, or slice off the bottom (to create a flat surface) and shave from bottom to top on a mandolin. Toss the squash with the dressing and let marinate for 10 to15 minutes before adding walnuts and scallions. Toss well, adjust seasoning if needed, and serve.