HIBISCUS FLOWER AND DELICATA SQUASH SALAD

This fall recipe has everything I like: tart, savory, and sweet flavors all combined in one mouthful. For that tart element, I sautéed steeped hibiscus flowers in a little butter, and then finished them off with a touch of honey.

Hibiscus flowers are readily available in most Mexican food stores, usually sold in bulk as "Flor de Jamaica".  Although not indigenous to Mexico, Flor de Jamaica grows well in the tropic regions, and is now mainly used to make aguas frescas. Mmmmm. 

Side note: it's the sepals, not the petals that are used and sold...so the end result in this recipe is a chewy, tart, sweet morsel of vitamin C! Combined with two indigenous fall ingredients, squash and pepitas (pumpkin seeds), the salad really pops with color and is quite beautiful. *If you are vegan, simply omit the butter and honey. 

SALAD

1 Delicata squash, halved crosswise seeded, and cut into ½ inch slices

½ cup raw pepitas

1 pomegranate, seeded

6 cups spring greens

1 cup dried hibiscus flowers

6 cups water

1 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. honey

olive oil

salt/pepper

 

DRESSING

Juice of 2 limes

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

½ cup olive oil

salt/pepper

 

MISE EN PLACE

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss squash slices with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, place on baking sheet in one layer and roast 30 minutes.

Adjust heat to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread raw pepitas in one layer and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you could roast pepitas on a comal or in a heavy bottom skillet.

Bring water to a boil, add hibiscus flowers and remove from heat. Steep for 10 minutes.  Strain flowers and set aside along with 1/4 of the tea.

In a sauté pan, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add rehydrated hibiscus flowers and toss to coat. Add your reserved tea to the pan along with 2 tsp. honey and simmer until it has all liquid has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Place all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well.

In a large bowl add the spring greens, roasted squash, hibiscus flowers, pomegranate seeds, and gently toss with dressing. Season with salt and pepper, top with pepitas.

Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz, LLC ©