I love this salad with its tingling tone of ginger which can be served on its own as a main meal partnered with some fresh crispy bread and nicely chilled white wine, or it can be served as a starter. This recipe incorporates ginger, garlic, and fennel seeds as discussed in healing herbs and spices.
Roasted Butternut, Ginger & Tomato Salad
1 small butternut squash
1 piece of fresh ginger grated. (2.5cm/1 inch)
4 bay leaves
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
24 (more or less) cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp crushed fennel seeds
12 rashes pancetta
125gm/4½ oz rocket or watercress sprigs
2 tablespoons verjuice or white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas7
Cut the butternut into small chunks (1cm/½ inch)
Toss the butternut, the grated ginger, and 3 bay leaves together with the 5 tablespoons of the olive oil and place in a baking tray; season with salt and pepper. Put into oven and cook for 20 minutes
Put the cherry tomatoes, ½ of the garlic, fennel seeds, and 1 bay leaf in a baking dish and mix together with the remaining olive oil.
After 20 minutes remove the butternut from the oven, add the remaining garlic and quickly toss together. Lay the pancetta over the top of the squash and return to the oven this time together with the pan of prepared cherry tomatoes and cook for a further 20 minutes until the pancetta is crisp, and the squash and tomatoes are cooked through.
To Plate: nestle some rocket /watercress in the middle of a plate, top with some of the roasted butternut and cherry tomatoes. Deglaze the roasting pan with the verjuice or vinegar over low heat, stir and scrape in all the caramelised bits until everything bubbles together and spoon this ‘dressing’ over the salad. Top each salad with 3 crisp pieces of pancetta and serve.