I came up with this salad when I was going through a butternut squash obsession. We wanted a black-eyed pea salad for the Market, and I wanted something with a bit of sweetness, so naturally I thought of butternut squash. We chop the squash into cubes to get crispy, caramelized edges after it’s roasted. I like it best while the squash is still warm. It’s delicious with diced ham added.
Serves 6 to 8
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups (about 12 ounces) fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Sweet and Spicy Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Scatter the cubes of butternut squash in one layer on a baking sheet with sides. Drizzle the squash with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the squash is brown around the edges and tender when pierced with a fork, stirring the squash pieces periodically so they brown evenly. Allow it to cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, place the fresh or frozen black-eyed peas in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover by 3 inches. Salt the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the peas are tender but still firm. Drain in a colander, rinse under cool water and drain thoroughly.
4. Gently scrape the warm squash into a large mixing bowl. Add the peas, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, marjoram, parsley, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and toss gently. Season with additional salt, pepper, or vinaigrette to taste. Season with additional salt, pepper, or vinaigrette to taste. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese.