I had plans for dinner. I was going to (re-)make a delicious corn ‘salad’ filled with roasted cherry tomatoes and zucchini, topped with these shrimp, cilantro, and chipotle lime dressing. And suddenly it wasn’t summer anymore. It was pouring and 10 degrees outside. There was no corn to be found at the farmer’s market and I got squash and beets in my CSA box. Granted, since then, the weather has improved drastically- it is sunny and kind of warm but there is a noticeable chill in the air. I could see my breath when I was walking to work this morning. I’ve been told there is no ‘fall’ season in Calgary, so hopefully we can cling to Summer a little longer, but apparently there is already snow west of the city, so I don’t know how much longer we have.
Despite the lack of corn (and general sadness that I probably won’t be getting any more until next summer) this salad turned out to be delicious. The roasted squash and beets were sweet and the radish and avocado provided a crunch and creaminess to the dish. The shrimp were plainly dressed but the yogurt, cilantro, chipotle, lime dressing packed a real punch when we combined everything together. This is probably more of a generous appetizer than a meal, but I wasn’t very hungry and ate it as my dinner (my boyfriend, on the other hand, had to supplement the meal with a grilled cheese sandwich). I love warm salads that walk the line of being a complete, filling meal and something way too hearty to be called a snack. This definitely fits that description.
If you don’t want to use shrimp, the salad would be great on its own. Maybe served with some crusty bread slathered with the chipotle, lime dressing? The dressing would be great as a dip for some raw vegetables. And if you’re lucky enough to still have some corn hanging around, throw it in with the beets and squash. Needless to say, this is a versatile dish, adaptable to all seasons.
This can be served as a hearty appetizer (for 6) or a very light meal (for 2). If you have leftover dressing, it's great as dip for some raw vegetables or as a condiment in a tortilla or sandwich.
In a small bowl, soak your chipotle pepper in hot water until soft (about 30 minutes).
In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing and pulse until smooth.
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Wrap your beets in tinfoil and bake for 60 minutes, or until cooked through (should be able to put a fork through them but have them still be firm).
Twenty minutes before the beets are ready, line a baking sheet with tinfoil.
Place acorn squash wedges onto baking tray and season with salt, pepper and a touch of olive oil.
Bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked though.
Remove squash and beets from oven.
Dice both squash and beets into 1 inch pieces.
Combine with avocado and sliced radishes.
Season with salt pepper and lime juice.
In a medium pan on medium heat, heat up olive oil.
While you're waiting for the pan to heat up, season your shrimp with salt and pepper.
Cook shrimp about 2 minutes on each side (until they are no longer translucent).
Serve warm salad, topped with shrimp and a generous dollop of chipotle, lime dressing.