This shoulder season salad has one indispensable ingredient: fire. Regardless of time of year, the recipe takes full advantage of whatever gourds are available. Hot wood fire draws depth and texture from watery summer squash and cucumbers, which are cooked until just al-dente, while a longer roast turns starchier red kuri pumpkins creamy and tender. Feel free to improvise and adapt the technique to the produce at your own local market or grocery store.
Argentine sardo cheese is a semi-firm, salty cow’s milk cheese, which is not to be confused with Italian pecorino Fiore Sardo. If unavailable in your local Latin market, substitute young provolone.
Featured in: "The Pescatarian Asado: Reframing Argentina's Native Bounty."
For the squash:
- 1 whole red kuri (Hokkaido) pumpkin, or substitute kabocha (1 lb.)
- 2 large cucumbers (1 lb.)
- 2 medium zucchinis (¾ lb.)
- 3 medium round or pattypan squash (¾ lb.)
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- ½ tsp. coarse pink Himalayan salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon zest, divided
- 1 head (1 lb.) escarole, picked and washed
- 4 cups (2½ oz.) loosely packed baby arugula
- ½ cup (¾ oz) fresh mint leaves
- 2½ oz. Argentine sardo cheese