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An A/W warm salad using winter squash, shredded sprouts, hearty grains, juicy pomegranate, earthy chestnuts, all topped off with a zingy vegan Buffalo ranch dressing to chase away the winter blues.

An A/W warm salad using winter squash, shredded sprouts, hearty grains, juicy pomegranate, earthy chestnuts, all topped off with a zingy vegan Buffalo ranch dressing to chase away the winter blues.I know, being a Floridian at heart, I should really prefer summer, but there is so much gorgeous produce to eat right now that late autumn and early winter are pretty hard to beat.

Okay, maybe the British weather is a bit pants underwhelming much of the time, but the produce that’s coming in is stunning: crimson globes of pomegranate; sunny hues, ghostly blues and the forest greens of winter squash; glossy brown chestnuts bursting in the fire’s heat. I really cannot resist raking through the pyramids of produce at this time of year; an edible treasure hunt where everyone’s a winner.

An A/W warm salad using winter squash, shredded sprouts, hearty grains, juicy pomegranate, earthy chestnuts, all topped off with a zingy vegan Buffalo ranch dressing to chase away the winter blues.One of the selling points of foods at their best in winter is that they last. I can store them in my capacious walk-in freezer (my garage!) for weeks on end and still they are fresh and perky; ripe for slicing and dicing whenever I want them.

And oh how I want them. I even eat squash for breakfast. Sliced thinly into smiling orange disks they saute up nicely to add to a plate of stir-fried kale and mushrooms.

As much as I adore butternut squash – they are the sweetest variety commonly available – I do like to try the other vivid, nutrient-packed, versatile and delicious varieties as I see them. This week I was over the moon to see a hodge podge of colourful squashes piled up at my local Lidl – for less than a pound a kilo.

Reader, I bought four.

An A/W warm salad using winter squash, shredded sprouts, hearty grains, juicy pomegranate, earthy chestnuts, all topped off with a zingy vegan Buffalo ranch dressing to chase away the winter blues.With one of the spaghetti squashes I made a not altogether successful vegan version of Deb’s Squashsagna. Deb’s pic on Instagram looked so cosy and inviting that I thought I would use some tempeh already defrosted in the fridge to have my own cosy squashagna dinner. And then I got a bit sick, busted my knee (unrelated!) and couldn’t be bothered making anything. For days. Note to self: use tempeh within its use by date. But I love the idea so I will definitely give it another bash, perhaps with Puy lentils. And Andrew will be most grateful. As he said to me by text when I mentioned tempeh lasagne:  Ain’t no good tempeh but Tinie Tempeh (British-only joke. Sorry).

Note to Andrew: this does not contain tempeh. Tinie or otherwise. 🙂

An A/W warm salad using winter squash, shredded sprouts, hearty grains, juicy pomegranate, earthy chestnuts, all topped off with a zingy vegan Buffalo ranch dressing to chase away the winter blues.

Squash, Sprouts, Freekeh and Chestnut Salad with Buffalo Ranch Dressing (vegan recipe)

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An A/W warm salad using winter squash, shredded sprouts, hearty grains, juicy pomegranate, earthy chestnuts, all topped off with a zingy vegan Buffalo ranch dressing to chase away the winter blues. 

1 Sweet Dumping or Delicata squash*, halved, deseeded and sliced into half moons about 1 cm thick

1 tsp oil of choice

100g uncooked freekeh or other grains OR 250g cooked freekeh

150g Brussels sprouts, thinly shredded

100g cooked chestnuts, broken up or sliced

Arils from one pomegranate (here’s how Jamie Oliver and I deseed a pomegranate.)

Vegan Buffalo Ranch Dressing

125ml vegan yogurt (or buttermilk)

3 tbsp vegan mayo, such as Veganaise (in UK, get it at Planet Organic) or my aquafaba mayonnaise (or best quality egg-based mayonnaise, such as Stokes or Delouis)

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 small crushed and finely minced garlic clove or good pinch powdered garlic

2 tsp each of finely minced parsley and dill

1 1/2 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce

Small dash of maple syrup if not using bought mayo

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Toss the squash with the oil and lay evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through the time (not crucial).

2. While the squash are roasting, rinse the freekeh and cook in a litre of boiling, slightly salted water for 12 minutes for slightly chewy, al dente grains. Drain well and air dry in the colander.

3. Pop all of the dressing ingredients in a small jug and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking.

4. When you are ready to eat, either have as a “composed” salad or mixed together and drizzled with the dressing. For the composed style of salad (shown), divide the freekeh between two shallow bowls and arrange each of the ingredients in sections over the grains. Serve with the dressing.

* Here is a great guide to all of the winter squash varieties.squash-slices

 

15 thoughts on “Winter Salad with Sprouts, Freekeh, Caramelised Squash and Buffalo Ranch Dressing (vegan recipe)

  1. Very tasty! I came home from a farmers market today with 3 different squashes 😀😀😀

  2. belleaukitchen says:

    oh kelpie, you’re such an inspiration. It’s so brilliant having your American perspective on our British foods. I love what you do here… it’s always so colourful and healthy too! x

  3. belleaukitchen says:

    Kelpie? Who’s she?

  4. Shannon says:

    That gorgeous colorful photo with the Brussels sprouts made my mouth water!! Oh, to have chestnuts in Texas. Having the native pecan out back does help a bit.

    Been a while since I’ve been by, Kellie, but your posts are always inspiring for my kitchen jaunts. Your southern cornbread still wows the family this time of year. Cheers, Lady!

    PS – Looking forward to whipping up your vegan ranch.

  5. Funny story about the tempeh. 😉 It’s a fickle ingredient, but when don’t right I do love it! But I hope you’re knee is better!! And this bowl with the clever dressing looks mouth watering. Jealous of those Brussels sprouts…apparently it’s still too early for them here in Madrid.

  6. This recipe makes me so happy Kellie! So bright, nourishing, and beautiful. Sorry to hear about your knee-hope it’s better, and hope you’re feeling better too. I’m a bit under the weather myself right now. Too much partying in Puerto Vallarta, perhaps 🙂

  7. Lucy Parissi says:

    I love all types of squash but only find butternut easily! This salad looks amazing – I had freekeh for lunch but it was a lot more boring than this amazing dish! Pinned!

  8. That is such a beautiful winter salad! I love adding pomegranate for a pop for colour and a burst of flavour.

  9. This is so beautiful that it just makes you want to dive in. I wish I lived with you..think I would eat so much better. Your food always makes me want to be healthier. So colourful and packed with flavour too I bet x

  10. Bee says:

    err…theres snow fakes falling on your blog? excellent! I love it! Merry Christmas!
    I wonder how did you get that effect?!

    1. Hi Bee. You know, I got sent an email from wordpress AGES ago asking if I wanted it as a feature from December 1, and I just did what it said. Every year it just automatically starts snowing! I have sleuthed the link for you: https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/its-getting-cold-in-here/. Basically go into settings, then scroll down the page (It will say “general” top left) and hopefully you will see it as an option to select. I hope it starts snowing for you soon 🙂

  11. natalie says:

    these foods pics are my new aesthetic >.< all jokes aside great pics and great recipe.

  12. This is perfect .. delicious.

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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