Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Harvest Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

This salad was inspired by a recipe on Closet Cooking, one of the most impressive cooking blogs out there. The interplay of flavors in this salad makes it really interesting--sweet squash and maple syrup vinaigrette contrasted with savory blue cheese and toasted pepitas. I'll be making this salad again tomorrow, on Thanksgiving.

Harvest Salad  
Serves 4

1 acorn squash or pumpkin, pealed and diced
Mixed salad greens
2 ounces blue cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar 
Salt and pepper
Maple syrup vinaigrette

1. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add one teaspoon sugar. Let cool.
2. While squash is cooking, roast pepitas at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Let cool.
3. Toss salad greens, blue cheese, roasted pepitas, roasted squash, cranberries, and maple syrup vinaigrette.

Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and serve with salad.

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