Roasted Squash and Vegetable Salad | Charlotte's got a lot | Charlotte NC Travel & Tourism
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Roasted Squash and Vegetable Salad

By Zack Renner, Executive Chef at Rooster’s Wood-Fried Kitchen Uptown

Overnight Tomatoes

  • 2 staked tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper

Overnight Tomato and Cava Rose Vinaigrette

  • 1 batch overnight tomatoes
  • 2 ounces cava rose vinegar
  • 4 ounces cava rose wine
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper

Acorn Squash

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 dash sugar (optional)

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper


  • 1 small head green cabbage
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Quick Pickles

  • 1 cucumber
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 2 sprigs dill


  • 1 large bunch or head green or red leaf lettuce
  • Salad Garnish
  • Spicy pecans, croutons, sprouts or seeds (optional)


Overnight Tomatoes
*Can be prepared and stored in refrigerator up to seven days before creating full dish

  • Place oven on lowest setting possible (preferably 180 F).
  • Slice tomatoes into quarters lengthwise and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Place tomatoes, skin side down, on pan large enough to hold them and set on middle rack of oven.
  • Cook tomatoes 6 to 8 hours, depending on ripeness and juiciness (the juicier, the longer you will need to cook). Tomatoes are fully cooked when caramelized and dark around edges, with size reduced by half.
  • Peel skin off cooked tomatoes and refrigerate in sealed container.

Overnight Tomato and Cava Rose Vinaigrette

  • In blender, puree all ingredients except olive oil.
  • Once ingredients are smooth, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify ingredients.
  • Store vinaigrette in a container (one that’s easy to shake) and refrigerate.

Acorn Squash

  • Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds.
  • Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and a dash a sugar (optional)
  • Cook squash at 375 F for 45 minutes to an hour. 
  • Squash is fully cooked when soft and golden brown on outside.

Spaghetti Squash

  • Cut off ends of squash (about a ½ to ¾ inch) so that each half will stand up when cooking.
  • Cut squash in half width wise and scrape out seeds.
  • Place squash in casserole pan and add two cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, allowing only a splash to fill the squash and the remainder to coat the bottom of pan.
  • Season inside of squash with salt and pepper and place sprig of thyme in each half, then covering pan with aluminum foil.
  • Cook squash on 375 F 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Squash is fully cooked when soft to the touch while squeezing on sides.
  • Let rest uncovered until cool to touch. Discard thyme.
  • Scoop out flesh into bowl with large spoon (should resemble spaghetti noodles).
  • Season again with salt and pepper to taste, adding 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
  • Chill in refrigerator until adding to salad.


  • Peel off gritty brown or distasteful leaves and quarter remaining cabbage length-wise.
  • Liberally drizzle olive oil over all leaves, taking care to get in between layers.
  • Season with salt and pepper, taking care to get in between layers.
  • Bake at 375 F until crispy on outside and tender in core (similar to al dente pasta).
  • Chill and cut into thin strips.

Quick Pickles

  • Peel cucumber and slice thinly lengthwise on mandolin.
  • Whisk together vinegar and water with salt.
  • Slice garlic into 4-6 pieces and add to vinegar water. Add in dill to complete brine.
  • Taste completed brine. If too salty or acidic, add more water. For more sour, add vinegar.
  • Pour brine over cucumbers, stirring constantly to ensure even coating.
  • Set time for 10 minutes and drain off solution.
  • Pick out garlic and dill from brine.

Green or Red Leaf Lettuce

  • Cut lettuce into thin strips or tear with fingers.

Put it all together (the Salad)

  • Place teaspoon of overnight tomato and cava rose vinaigrette in center of a bowl.
  • Place acorn squash atop vinaigrette in bowl.
  • Use center of the acorn squash to act as a bowl for sesame spaghetti squash "noodles.” 
  • Toss lettuce and sliced cabbage with remaining vinaigrette and add dash of salt and pepper. 
  • Mix gently to coat leaves, taking care not to squeeze lettuce and bruise or wilt it. 
  • Place dressed lettuce and cabbage mixture on top of the noodles.
  • Gently layer a few pickles over lettuce.
  • For additional crunch, add spiced pecans, croutons, sprouts or seeds (optional).

Take me back to the Chopped: Charlotte Edition article.