Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Maple Syrup Dressing

I rediscovered the recipe for this salad while I was trying to find another recipe I had made for Thanksgiving several years past.
I keep my recipes electronically in Excel file format. I have separate files for each category..desserts, salads, etc. For me it's an easy way to capture a recipe that sounds appealing while perusing various culinary internet sites. Now having just made that statement, I've realized this is an untruth. I must confess that my recipes are not in the stellar order I would like them to be. I have a book with hand written "keepers" along with typed recipes loosely stuffed inside the front cover, with no particular order. Yet another folder exists with canning recipes, and the list goes on. One day I envision my recipe collection to be in order. Ok, there's another "untruth"...if it hasn't happened now, chances are I probably won't get "it all together". These thoughts bring back fond memories while perusing old cookbooks at an auction, garage sale or antique store....most times the book will have a random recipe cut from a newspaper, magazine or a handwritten card with a smattering of smears and stains stuffed inside the front cover. I find comfort in knowing someone will appreciate my hodge-podge of recipes after I'm long gone!

And yes, I have digressed...back to the recipe.  Inspiration for my salad came from a like named recipe from Emeril Lagasse. His salad had rye bread-goat cheese croutons, of which I did not want to make. I made my version smaller along with a few other each one and decide what version piques your culinary interest!

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Maple Syrup Dressing

serves 2

Roasted Squash
1 small acorn squash, cut in half, seeded & cut into crescents
1/2 tsp Essence
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss squash crescents with Emeril's Essence, brown sugar and olive oil. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast 30 minutes, turning squash at 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Maple Syrup Dressing
1 tbsp plain yogurt (Emeril's called for creme fraiche, of which I did not have)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
3/4 tsp horseradish
kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper

Make the dressing by whisking the first four ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The yogurt in this recipe is the fat and emulsifier...beautiful!

Salad accompaniments
2 oz goat cheese (I used Amaltheia Chevre)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/4" strips, cooked til crisp (I used Silver Tip Bacon)
4 cups organic mixed greens

To make the salad, place greens in a medium bowl. Add enough dressing to lightly coat greens. Divide greens amongst two plates. Top each salad with roasted squash, chevre, walnuts and bacon. Drizzle with additional dressing if desired.

I served my salad with strips of thyme sea salt scented grilled ribeye steak. This sea salt is produced by Boja Farms. The flavor is exceptional. Check out Boja Farms Facebook Page for more information.

PS. I paired my dinner salad with a glass of this wine my sister brought to me from Washington far one of my faves from Terra Blanca Winery.

PSS. I never found the braised pheasant recipe I was looking for to begin with...whatev...four hours is not an unusually long time to be sidetracked, right??

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