Donnerstag, 31. Oktober 2013

Unexpected combinations: Beets + Orange + Chili + Hokkaido Squash

Today is one of those days where I started cooking with a vague idea in mind and it turned out great! I may even have discovered my new favorite salad!

These are the heroes of our dish: Hokkaido squash, oranges, beets!

And this is what our finished dish looks like: Ovenbaked hokkaido squash with a beets and orange salad with a sweet chili dressing.


  • 1 Hokkaido squash
  • 3 oranges
  • beets (I had one big one, but just try to match the volume of the oranges)
  • a bit of fresh ginger
  • two garlic cloves of garlic
  • some olive oil
  • agave sirup
  • sriracha (or sambal oelek or any other chili sauce)
  • salt
  • pepper

optional: a few pomegranate seeds for decoration
a bit of soy sauce

How to make this fall dish

The first thing you want to do is cook your beets or free the precooked ones from its wrapper. If you're using fresh beets, wash them and then just boil them like potatoes. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.

 Once they're good, take them out - and for the love of any deity you truely admire and worship: USE gloves! Unless your deity is really into hot pink hands for three full days - and slice them into 0.5cm (1/5 inch) slices.
I then proceeded to fry them a for a little while, mainly because I am new to the beets business and wasn't entirely sure if I had cooked them long enough. So if you have precooked beets or are an expert at cooking beets, this is optional.

 While your beets are cooling down, Cut the hokkaido squash in half. I love hokkaido because it has a wonderful taste (like a mixture of nuts and potatoes), is easy to prepare and you don't have to peel it. You can just eat the whole thing (maybe without the seedy part - although I do love roasted pumpkin seeds).

 Slice your squash up in any way you like. The thinner you cut it, the faster it cooks. Put together a marinade: I used olive oil, finely chopped garlic (2 cloves) and ginger (a chunk about the size of my thumb) and salt. Do not add any pepper here yet, because it would burn in the oven.

Mix all of this together and put it into a big oven dish. Put the dish into your preheated oven. Depending on how thick your slices are, this should take 20-30 minutes. If you are not sure if your squash is fully cooked, test with a tooth pick. If you can easily poke through one of the thicker slices, your squash is ready.

Continue getting your things for the salad together! I only realized I was working with organic oranges halfway through peeling the first, which was when I decided to use the peel in the food as well. So grate the first thin orange layer off with a fine grater if you have organic oranges. Then peel the oranges until as much of the white part of the peel is gone.

The peel goes into the dressing for the salad. I used agave sirup, sriracha, and salt for it. I'm not 100% sure on the exact measures, but they probably vary depending on your taste for hot sauce...
I used around
4 tb spoons of agave sirup
1 1/2 tb spoons of sriracha
orange zest
a pinch of salt
You can also add a bit of soy sauce. Soy sauce is always the right ingredient!

Now slice up those oranges so they are the same thickness as the beets (or maybe slightly thicker).

As you wait for your squash to be ready, arrange your beets and oranges nicely. Drizzle the dressing over your beautiful salad! I love the deep purple of the beets and the fresh orange of the citrus.

Once the squash is done, you can drizzle it with a bit of soy sauce (if you wish). You can also add some pomegranate seeds if you happen to have a pomegranate in the kitchen like I did. :) When this is done... Serve, enjoy, and share with other people!

The orange-beets salad has just become my favorite salad! <3