Named for its delicate, deliciously edible skin, sweet delicata squash makes a great addition to any autumnal dish. (It’s also pretty darn cute as far as squashes go.) For this hearty salad, it’s roasted along with earthy cremini mushrooms then tossed with spinach in a homemade shallot vinaigrette. Seared, slightly crispy and oh-so creamy goat cheese tops it all off, adding a touch of decadence to this seasonally inspired salad.
Wiping mushrooms clean instead of rinsing prevents them from absorbing water. They won’t brown well if they’re too wet.
6 ounces cremini mushrooms
1 delicata squash
3 ounces goat cheese
¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
5 ounces baby spinach
5½ tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
10″ medium nonstick pan
Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel shallot and thinly slice. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and quarter (see Recipe Tip). Rinse squash and halve lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and discard, then cut crosswise into ½-inch slices. Halve goat cheese crosswise, place on a plate, and refrigerate until ready to use.
On a baking sheet, toss mushrooms and squash with spice mix, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer, transfer to oven, and roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
While vegetables roast, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add shallot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in Champagne vinegar and 1 packet mustard. Whisking continuously, slowly add 3 tablespoons olive oil until fully combined. Season with ⅛ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. Set aside.
Place breadcrumbs on a plate and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. In a medium, shallow bowl, whisk together 1 egg and remaining mustard. Season goat cheese all over with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired. Dip in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.
Wipe pan from shallot clean and add 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add goat cheese and sear until bottom is golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Flip and sear until crust is browned on both sides, 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Add roasted vegetables and spinach to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Divide between 2 plates, top with crispy goat cheese, and you’re good to go.