I modeled this supremely satisfying salad off one that our friend, June, brought when she visited shortly after our son was born a few years ago. I remember it vividly – in part because it was spectacular and in part because I was nursing the baby every two hours at the time and was ravenous around the clock!
After I discovered delicata squash a few years ago, it quickly gained “most favored squash” status in my kitchen. In addition to their divine flavor, one of the nice things about delicatas is that you do not have to peel them – just remove the seeds and cut them up – no need to remove the skin.
The lovely, rich, sweet, slightly nutty flavor of the delicata squash is enhanced by roasting and pairs nicely with the salty, creamy tortellini and the grated parmesan cheese. The greens add a light, fresh note (I only had baby spinach on hand but I prefer arugula as it gives the salad a nice peppery bite), the pepitas add a great, smokey crunch and the dried cranberries offer some tart, sweet notes.
It’s hard to stop eating this salad. We made this for lunch today and my husband and I both had to try several times before we were able to finally lay our forks down for good…
I used some fresh tortellini made by a local company but this would be good with the frozen kind, too. There’s a great company called Rising Moon Organics that makes very tasty organic, vegetarian pastas including a few fully vegan options.
Next: The recipe