Pepita Burrata Butternut, Hibiscus
This recipe plays with a bright pink, tart natural powder. It’s visually stunning and adds a nice little bite to the recipe. Many traditional cultures make hibiscus flowers into a tart tea that tastes somewhat like cranberry. The flowers of the plant are dried and ground into a powder, as it’s used here. If your local market doesn’t sell hibiscus powder but has a pure hibiscus tea, you can grind it to a powder in your coffee maker and use that in the recipe. Sumac is similarly tart though not as brightly colored and you could substitute that here in the fall, when all these ingredients will be available once more.
1 Butternut or Kobocha squash (about 3 pounds), cut in wedges
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 branches fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary or oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¾ cup pumpkin seeds or pepitas
1 tablespoon hibiscus powder, divided
2 bunches dandelion, arugula or puntarelle
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons sherry vinegar
12 ounces burrata cheese, cut in 6 pieces
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Roast for about 35 minutes, until the squash is golden and cooked through, peel off the skin.
Toss the pumpkin seeds with ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Roast them on a baking sheet until seeds are toasted and golden. While they’re still hot, toss them with half of the hibiscus powder.
Make the dressing: whisk the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and a big pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in the remaining hibiscus powder. Toss the greens with the dressing, divide among 6 plates. Divide the pieces of squash and burrata among the plates, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds, grind a bit of fresh pepper over each salad and serve