As far as we’re concerned, now is the best time to go to market (and yes, this may contradict what we may have said in the past while shopping at market during the summer!). Nonetheless, nothing beats a Thursday market trip when the sun is still hot, the air is cool, and the farmers’ stands are full to the brim with giant squash, leafy kale (look for this recipe next week!) and perfect carrots.
Nothing beats a good butternut squash soup, but because we like to take the ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary, a fantastic method to cook squash is to ‘ribbon’ it with a vegetable peeler to produce long, thin strands. Then one simply has to sauté it (quick cooking over high heat) in a little bit of butter. This ensures that the squash gets slightly cooked and coated with all of the lovely butter flavor, but still retains a bit of a crunch.
Warm Fall Vegetable
- Salad Serves 4-6
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cups of butternut squash, peeled into ‘ribbons’
- 1 large carrot, peeled into ‘ribbons’
- 8 cups mixed greens or spinach
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat’s cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 recipe Apricot and Pistachio Vinaigrette (see below)
To enhance the squash flavor even more, try ‘browning’ the butter first: add cold butter to a medium-hot pan, let it melt and sizzle until the butter ‘foam’ calms down, and then a light brown colour will appear as well as a nutty aroma. At this point add the squash to stop the butter from burning.
What we’ve done here is combined the sautéed squash with mixed greens, a unique vinaigrette with nuts and dried fruit, and topped it off with some crumbled goat’s cheese. A salad worthy enough to start an elegant Thanksgiving dinner.
In a large frying pan melt butter over medium-high heat; allow to brown lightly then sauté squash and carrot, just until tender crisp; season with salt and pepper;
Divide greens between 8 plates; top with warm vegetables and then drizzle with vinaigrette; top with goat’s cheese.
Apricot and Pistachio Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp pinot grigio vinegar
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp local honey
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 6 dried apricots
- 1/4 cup pistachios, soaked in water for 15-20 minutes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Blend together the vinegar, lemon, honey, mustard, apricots and pistachio;
Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil a few drops at a time, then gradually whisk in remaining oil in thin stream;
Season to taste with salt and pepper.