Butternut Squash and Chickpea Fritters Salad

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Fritters are easy to make and are the perfect addition to this salad with tomato-balsamic vinaigrette. I like to serve this as a complete lunch

Fritter Ingredients:
2 cups raw butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
2 slices whole-wheat bread
1  15-oz can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 egg
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves (chopped fine)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salad Ingredients:
3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 clove garlic (minced)
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
½ cup organic safflower oil
¼ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups fresh European mix greens
4 teaspoons raw pecans (chopped)

Fritter Directions:
Put squash in a microwave-safe container with 1/4 cup water and cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high until squash is tender when pierced, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Pulse bread in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add squash and chickpeas and pulse until slightly chunky. Add egg, flour, sage, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Pulse just until blended.

Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Drop ¼-cup portions of squash mixture into oil, making a few fritters at a time, and cook, turning once, until golden brown  (about 3 minutes on each side.) Transfer to paper towels to absorb excess oil. Set aside.

Salad Directions:
Chill four salad plates in the freezer until ready to serve salad.

Combine Balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, garlic and rosemary in a blender. With the blender on, gradually add the oils to the blender and process into a thick dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set vinaigrette aside.

Arrange lettuce on four chilled plates. Pour vinaigrette over top of each salad (there will probably be some vinaigrette left – not to worry). Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of each salad. Serve with fritters on the side.

About Valley Vegetarian

The fresh chef providing consistently good vegetarian comfort food recipes.
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