Dishing Up the Dirt

Delicata Squash With Cider Vinaigrette & Almond “Parmesan”

Since I’ve consumed my body weight in mexican hot chocolates I thought it was only appropriate to incorporate something green into the mix.

I was inspired to make this salad after organizing our spinach seeds for our first round of planting and then noticing that we still have a ton of winter squash that needs consumed before spring arrives. If we start turning orange you’ll know why!

This salad is delightful. It’s simple with a lot of great textures and flavors. The crunch from all of the roasted nuts, beans and seeds go really well with the sweet squash and tangy dressing. It’s hearty enough to be served as a main course but can easily be served as a side dish. The addition of almond “parmesan” is a great touch.  I first tried almond parm at a vegan restaurant in Portland. And while I’m not vegan (contrary to popular belief), I try to buy my dairy as local as possible. That can be tricky and when we are fresh out of good quality cheese I turn to things like cashew cream and this almond parm. The truth is, I absolutely adore the flavor and texture of this “cheese” and will sometimes prefer this even when we have a block of fresh parmesan in the fridge. It only requires 4 ingredients-almonds, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt. A few pulses in your food processor and viola!

I hope you all enjoy this simple salad as much as we do. It may seem like there are quite a few steps for “just” a salad but I assure you this is worth it. The reality is that this takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and the almond parm and salad dressing can be made a few days in advance. However, if you prepare everything at once it will still take less than 30 minutes before dinner is on the table. Can’t beat that! Pour a glass of your favorite wine, grab a fork and enjoy.

Delicata Squash with Cider Vinaigrette & Almond Parmesan

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Serves: 4

For the salad
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 medium sized delicata squash, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch half moons (no need to peel)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups spinach
  • small handful of micro greens (optional)
Toasted Nuts + Seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • olive oil
For the Dressing
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey, more or less to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fine sea salt
Almond Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Toss the squash with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil and place on a prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven until lightly browned and tender. About 15-20 minutes. Flip squash halfway through cooking.
  3. Toss chickpeas with the remaining oil and a few pinches of sea salt. Place on a separate prepared baking sheet and roast in the same oven as the squash until lightly browned and crisp. About 15 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through cooking.
  4. In a large salad bowl toss the spinach and onion together. Set aside.
  5. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat on the stove. Add the nuts and seeds. Lightly toast until brown. About 3 mintes. Shake the pan a few times to make sure the seeds/nuts toast on all sides.
  6. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste test, adjust seasonings if need be and set aside.
  7. Place all the ingredients for the parmesan in a food processor and process until a fine meal is achieved.
  8. Toss the squash, chickpeas, nuts and seeds with the spinach. Add the the dressing to taste and sprinkle with almond parmesan.


*The almond parmesan cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months. *Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. *Taste test as you go.

Leave a Reply

3 thoughts on “Delicata Squash With Cider Vinaigrette & Almond “Parmesan”

  1. Erin says:

    Wow, this looks so good & I’ve been looking for a cider vinaigrette recipe too! Thanks for all the great recipes you share.

  2. Roger says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a little while and enjoy it. You often have unique ways of extracting flavors and using the “whole” food product. Do either of you have any culinary background, or are you just good cooks. Nice stuff guys.

    1. Andrea says:

      Thanks for you lovely comment. We don’t have a culinary background but are constantly inspired by what we grow on our farm for kitchen inspiration. We’ve been farming for 6 years now and each year we get more comfortable in the kitchen. Thanks for reading along!

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