Several years ago, my Mom gifted me a divine cookbook by an amazing chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. With Middle Eastern roots, Ottolenghi owns several London restaurants and has authored a slew of cookbooks brimming with recipes full of vibrant, bold, flavors.
‘Modern Middle Eastern’ is how I would describe his work, some recipes are classic old school, but most are a delightful fusion of Middle Eastern flavors with a modern take. I would say his work has probably been the most influential to my style of cooking, healthy, with interesting colors and flavors, thanks Mom!
This recipe is created from scratch in the style of Ottolenghi, roasting the grapes coaxes out a rich flavor perfectly accompanied by the butternut and red onion with a finish of Za’Atar seasoning.
Grapes are loaded with the phytonutrient resveratrol, butternut squash with vitamin A and carotenoids, and red onion with anti-inflammatory quercetin, a delicious health boost on a plate!
The Buttermilk dressing uses both buttermilk and sour cream in the video, though I did remake this with full fat buttermilk only and it was quite delicious. Use any variety of herbs you like, the more the better as these pack a health punch, particularly basil which can assist to fight infections and boost immunity.
This salad is divine served with Turmeric Buttermilk Brined Grilled Chicken.
Plenty of antioxidant rich foods here to keep you healthy in the lock-down, ‘Healing Never Tasted So Good’!
Roasting the grapes yields an intense sweetness that dances well with the butternut and onion, finished with citrus-y Za’Atar seasoning in this delightful recipe.
4 cups Butternut Squash, peeled, 2-inch dice (about 3 Lb.)
3 cups Red Grapes, stems removed (about 10oz)
2 cups Red Onion, large dice (about 2 onions)
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Honey
1 tsp. Mustard
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Za’Atar seasoning
1/2 cup Grape Vinaigrette (juice from cooking)
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 cups Basil, Parsley and Cilantro leaves (loosely packed)
8oz Feta crumbles
8 oz Mixed Salad Greens
1/3 cup Toasted Pine Nuts
Preheat the oven to 450F
Whisk together the balsamic dressing
Place the grapes, butternut and red onion in separate roasting pans, and lightly toss with the dressing.
Place in the hot oven, remove and stir the vegetables every 15 to 20 minutes, you want a nice caramelization but not burned.
The grapes will be done in around 15 minutes, reserve the juice they kicked out for the dressing.
The butternut squash will take the longest around 30 to 40 minutes, the onions 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool to room temperature, but not ice cold.
Prepare the dressing
Place the sour cream, buttermilk and grape dressing in a food processor or blender.
With the motor running add the olive oil, and the herbs and feta, pulsing to keep the dressing chunky.
Place a layer of greens on a platter or individual plates.
Layer on the butternut, then the onion and grapes.
Drizzle the dressing generously over, and finish with the pine nuts.