I’m Reneging On A Promise? QUICK! I Shall Distract You With A Hearty Winter Salad.
Yesterday I told you that I would have a bathroom update for you today, but I lied.
Apparently I’m not ashamed to keep you here by feeding you a consistent diet of fairytale stories and false hopes.
(Hey. Maybe I could be a parent, after all.)
The holes in the vanity are still filled with toothpicks and frankly, neither Justin nor I felt like dealing with it last night. Apparently we’re the weekend warrior types, though he swears he’s going to put the cabinet doors back on tonight and I swear I’m going to paint the trim this week.
And also I’m having a tea party with Santa and the Easter Bunny this afternoon.
The Tooth Fairy can’t make it.
She has the flu.
Instead, I want to talk about salad.
What? That’s relevant.
Winter salad, to be more specific.
And just what is winter salad? you might ask.
Well. To me, winter salads satisfy two basic elements:
1) They’re composed primarily of seasonal ingredients (such as arugula, kale, cabbage, squash, etc.) that are relatively inexpensive and easy to find this time of year; and
2) They’re hearty enough to keep me snuggly and warm but still have a healthy “salad” element you just won’t find in this incredible Tuscan soup. Or this award-winning white chili. Or pretty much everything else I love to eat during the winter.
And let me tell you, my friends — I have found the perfect winter salad. In fact, this is like the mother of all winter salads. If all of the other winter salads in existence were like all of the unruly children running unattended through every family friendly chain restaurant in every small town to moderate sized city throughout the U.S., then this salad would be the one who birthed them all — Hearty, well-built, and indifferent to the thick, dressing-fueled chaos her kids are creating. She’s sleek. Appropriately attired. And damn delicious.
Now. Because I’m a horrific blogger, I’m once again in the lurch when it comes to pictures. It’s been too dark out and my camera is making this weird rattling noise and sometimes – sometimes – when I’m roasting vegetables and shaking dressings and seeding pomegranates, it just doesn’t occur to me to photograph it.
But I did manage to capture one, with my iPhone, of the finished product, just before it was devoured.
Isn’t it gorgeous?
She’s like a salad supermodel.
This salad was even manly enough for Justin who, like most growing boys, turns up his nose at main meals without meat. But this salad has potatoes. And squash. And hearty white cheese.
You seriously can’t go wrong.
I found this recipe right here on The Year In Food, but I warn you: PROCEED TO LINK WITH CAUTION. The recipes and photography are out of this world. In fact, don’t go. Just don’t. You might not ever come back.
So it’s just as well that I didn’t take photos of this, because a) They wouldn’t be half as good as those from A Year in Food, and b) This means you get drawings again! And, really. With artistic skills like mine, I really don’t see why I need to pick up a camera ever again.
Delicata Squash Salad with Roasted Potatoes & Pomegranate Seeds
I changed a couple of things about this recipe. One, I couldn’t find delicata squash to save my life. My LIFE. So I used butternut and it was delicious. Two, I cut the original recipe in half, except the dressing and the pomegranate. And I’m glad I did because it still made a huge bowl. Three, I used feta like the recipe called for (though The Year In Food says the original recipe calls for Parmesan), but when I make this again (and I will make this again), I would use crumbled goat cheese. Because I love goat cheese. And goat cheese would be fantastic on this salad.
To make it the way I did, you will need:
- 3/4 pound of potatoes for roasting (I used these tiny little golden potatoes they sell in bulk at my “fancy” grocer, but you can use any kind of tiny potatoes you like)
- 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium Delicata squash (or butternut, or whatever kind of winter squash you like)
- 5 packed cups arugula
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
- 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 2 Tbsp. minced shallots
- 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. honey
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 425-degrees F. Slice the tiny potatoes in half or in quarters (depending on how big they are, and I left the skin on), stick ‘em on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle them with about 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, toss ‘em around to coat, and bake for 20-25 minutes until goldeny brown and tender, stirring about halfway through.
2. While the potatoes roast, prepare your squash. Since I used butternut squash, I cut it in half lengthwise, scooped out the stringy membrane and seeds (kind of like the inside of a pumpkin), used a potato peeler to scrape off the tough outer skin, then sliced the halves very thinly (~1/8″ thick) cross-wise into half-moon shapes. You could also roast the squash halves before slicing with would take up less room in your oven, but it would take longer to roast and you’d half to let it cool a bit once it’s out in order to handle it so you can slice it. So. Whatever floats your boat. Arrange them on a couple of baking sheets, drizzle with a Tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, toss to coat, and roast them in the oven (once the potatoes are removed) for 20-ish minutes until beginning to brown.
3. While the squash roasts, make that dressing. Mince up 2 Tablespoons of shallots, then whisk them together with 2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons of champagne vinegar, 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. of honey, and a bit of salt and pepper. Then whisk while drizzling in 1/3 cup of olive oil. You can also shake it in a sealed container at this point to get everything to blend.
4. Seed that damn pomegranate. I used Method ONE from this page and it worked brilliantly.
5. Once everything is cooked and prepped, just add all of your dry ingredients (arugula, roasted squash, roasted potatoes, pomegranate seeds, and feta or goat cheese), toss, drizzle with dressing, toss again, and enjoy!
Okay. Maybe we need to see that first photo one last time, just in case you’ve stopped taking me seriously.
There you go. Make it. Make it now.