Monday, October 15, 2012
Why should soup have all the fun when it comes to squash? Sure, I adore my roasted squash soup, Vietnamese noodle soup with squash, coconut and curry and my squash-based and sherry-laced crab bisque. You should go ahead and make those immediately: they’re perfect for fall. Yet, this autumn-colored, nutrient-rich vegetable works beautifully in salads, too, and today’s video features one of the dishes I made at the Boston Local Food Festival last week. The introduction is here, the recipe for the maple dijon vinaigrette—which is an essential part of the recipe—is here, and additional cooking and plating notes are appended. Beyond the recipe itself, you’ll also learn a few things about nut nutrition and how I deal with salad greens at home. Check it out!
Cooking and Video Notes
Alas, my iPhone chose the exact moment to run out of space while I was plating the salad, as you just learned. But don’t fret! To see some lovely pictures of the salad and hear about how I played around with the flavors one night, click here. To summarize: 1) place greens of your choice on the plate (I used a mix of dark green and red leaf lettuces and mesclun); 2) spoon squash atop the leaves; 3) scatter onions and dried cranberries on the squash; 4) drizzle with maple dijon vinaigrette; and 5) sprinkle with chive blossoms. More on roasting squash here; the process is the same for onions but I added chopped fresh rosemary: the onions had gorgeous caramelization and rich herbal notes and are a key ingredient, in my view. Chive blossoms are as they sound (i.e., the flower that forms atop the otherwise familiar chive) and can be hard to find: they add a mild, fresh onion note and are very pretty, but don’t fret if you can’t find them. (I got lucky.) Scallions or chives will suffice, or leave them off altogether. A light spritz of microgreens is also nice for final color contrast. Remember that when it comes to salad, it’s all about options and making it your own to get more plants into your diet. Finally, cheese lovers who want to take this salad over the top could also add a crumble of creamy chèvre or gorgonzola.
Still coming in this series (and now available!): arugula, pear, and toasted walnut salad with walnut vinaigrette. Stay tuned! And in other squash news, don’t forget to check out my recipe for outrageous pumpkin whoopie pies with maple buttercream, which employs a few of the same flavors as this dish but in completely different ways.
And a whole lot of butter and sugar.