Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home By Nigella Lawson Hardcover, 512 pages Hyperion & Co. List Price: $35
I know the whole bowl thing below sounds as though I am trying to save myself as much dishwashing as possible. While this is partly true, it is also the case that I can't bear to waste any of these glorious ingredients as I proceed.
Although I am happy to do the rubbing-cum-dusting for the chops with naked fingers, I feel vinyl disposable gloves are necessary for the salad. Too much unprotected handling of a butternut and I end up looking like I've got a 60-a-day habit, unfiltered at that.
1 butternut squash, approximately 2 1/4 pounds
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons cold-pressed canola oil (see Kitchen Confidential, p.16) or olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for dressing
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup water, from a freshly boiled kettle
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
4 ounces (about 3 cups) arugula and other salad leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
Make Ahead Note The butternut squash cubes can be roasted 1 day ahead. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until needed. Remove from the refrigerator about 1 hour before serving, to allow to come to room temperature.
Making Leftovers Right It may well be that you end up with a wee bit of salad over. Frankly, you can eat this just as is (perhaps with a little lime juice spritzed over to freshen it up) or else cook some rice and stir this through just in time to warm through properly at the end of the cooking.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Don't bother to peel, but halve and seed the butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, then cut each slice into four.
Put the butternut pieces into a bowl with the salt, spices, and 2 tablespoons oil and smoosh them about, then tip into a lipped baking sheet (lined with aluminum foil). Don't clean the bowl yet.
Cook the squash for 30 to 40 minutes. Check to see if it is cooked through by the time the 1/2 hour's up by piercing with a fork; some squashes cook faster than others.
Add the golden raisins to the spice-smeared bowl and cover with the freshly boiled water; once cooled, whisk in the vinegar and the 2 tablespoons oil that remain.
Put half of the salad leaves over a large plate or bowl and arrange the butternut pieces on top. Sprinkle with the remaining salad leaves and the toasted pine nuts. Scrape the raisin-studded dressing out of the bowl to dribble over it all, and toss gently before serving.
Excerpted from Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home by Nigella Lawson. Copyright 2010 Nigella Lawson. Excerpted by permission of Hyperion & Co.