GRAZIA COLUMN: Warm Spiced Baby Gem and Butternut Squash Salad with Avocado Cream

Warm Spiced Baby Gem and Butternut Squash Salad with Avocado Cream

Chipotle butternut squash scattered over griddled baby gem lettuce, with chilli, coriander, blackened corn and spicy avocado cream.  Charred lettuce is a revelation for us – and it works perfectly in this crunchy, fragrant, spicy warm salad with the creamiest avo dressing.  You would never know this beauty was dairy free.  

Vegan & Gluten Free.

Serves 4


1 large butternut squash – (whole squash cut in half length ways then cut into 2cm thick wedges, skin on)

Dried, flaked chipotle chili

8 baby gem lettuces – chopped in half down the centre

4 limes – (zest 2, then segment all 4 into rounds)

all2 whole sweet corns

2 green chillis – thinly sliced

small bunch coriander – roughly chopped

1 pomegranate – seeds bashed out

Extra virgin olive oil

Maldon salt

For the Avocado Cream

2 ripe avocados

1 tbsp cider vinegar

A dash of Tabasco

Juice of a lime

Maldon salt

Water to loosen

Special equipment:

Food Processor


Preheat oven to 200C fan.

Put the butternut squash in a large bowl and add your olive oil, maldon salt, lime zest and dried chipotle flakes and toss well. Spread over a lined baking tray and roast for 40 minutes until the squash is a lovely golden colour.

To make your avocado cream, scoop out the flesh of your avocados directly into your food processor with the cider vinegar, juice of a lime, a dash of Tabasco, a splash of cold water to loosen and some maldon to taste. Whizz until lovely and smooth. If it’s a little thick add a tad more water. Set aside.

Boil the sweet corn until tender (around 5 minutes). Heat your griddle pan over a high heat until it starts smoking. Smother your cooked corn cobs in olive oil and griddle until the corn becomes lovely and charred (around 5-7 minutes).  Take the cobs off the heat (leave griddle pan on the high heat) and once cool enough to touch, shave off the charred corn kernels with a knife. Set aside.

With your griddle pan still smoking hot, lightly brush your baby gem lettuce halves with olive oil and very quickly charr, no more that 1 minute each side – you want the lettuce to be crispy and charred, not wilted. Set aside.

Now to assemble!  

Finding the perfect platter / serving dish / wooden board, scatter your charred baby gem halves and butternut squash wedges around the plate. Dot your fresh lime segments all over. Drizzle over the avocado cream, and scatter with the corn kernels, green chillis, pomegranate seeds and roughly chopped coriander.

Get stuck in with your hands, and use the charred gem lettuce to scoop up all the goodness.

grazia 2