Pear & Squash Salad with Toasted Seeds

Cooking time
Serves2-4 people
Pear & Squash Salad with Toasted Seeds

Did you know you can eat squash in salads? This autumnal dish combines thinly shaved squash with peppery rocket and sweet pears to make a crisp and crunchy salad. Sweet and spicy toasted nuts and seeds and crumbly parmesan shavings take it to the next level. Perfect as a starter or light lunch.


  • 1 small squash, such as butternut or delicata
  • 3 pears
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp whole almonds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • A pinch or two of dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • A handful or two of rocket
  • 50g parmesan cheese

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 5 mins

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1. Trim the top and base off the squash. Peel the squash then slice it in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds. Use a vegetable peeler to create long thin ribbons of squash. Tumble the squash into a large mixing bowl.
2. Peel the pears and slice them into quarters. Slice out and discard the cores. Slice the pears into thin strips and add to the squash. Pick the mint leaves and add them to the bowl.
3. Peel the garlic clove and grate it into a separate, small bowl. Grate in the lemon zest and squeeze in the juice from one half. Pour in 2 tbsp oil and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine and make a dressing. Pour the dressing over the squash and pears and gently turn till well coated. Pop the salad to one side.
4. Crush 2 tbsp whole almonds in a pestle and mortar or with a rolling pin to make small pieces. Warm a frying pan over a medium heat. Scatter in the crushed almonds, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds and a pinch or two of dried chilli flakes. Sprinkle in 2 tbsp caster sugar. Fry for 4-5 mins, stirring frequently, till the seeds and nuts are golden. Tip the contents of the pan into a small bowl and allow to cool for a few mins.
5. Add the rocket leaves to the bowl with the squash and pears. Shave in the parmesan. Sprinkle in half of the seeds and nuts. Give the salad one last fold to combine. Pile the salad onto plates serve topped with the remaining toasted seeds and nuts.
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