Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jer: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Finally got around to making this salad over the weekend. Gosh it was nice to be cooking again! I used edamame instead of black eyed peas which I thought held up well (I also liked the green and orange contrast). Also, when I had this at Julie's earlier this month, I thought it could use something a little crunchy so I added some toasted slivered almonds. I didn't add the bell peppers.

I do like the way the goat cheese melts into the salad and gives it a creaminess and a slight tanginess. Although I must admit, while I liked the squash in a salad, I didn't love it. I had ordered a butternut squash salad at a restaurant recently which also fell a little flat on my palate. I think for me, squash is really one of those indgredients that is ho-hum roasted on its own but incredibly delicious when mashed and mixed in with other indgredients. I decided to make a batch of butternut squash soup while making the salad and I thought the soup was amazing. Only things I added were apples and leeks -- and of course some stock and some nutmeg. Its as if the few other indgredients do so much to really elevate the butternut squash into something incredible.

Homemade soup and a half grilled cheese sandwhich is always a huge hit in our house. Pete gets really excited when a new batch of soup is made on the weekends because he knows he's getting this for dinner several days this week!

Any favorite soup recipes you guys want to share? This soup as well as potato leek, lentil, corn chowder, tomato basil, and split pea are in our regular rotation. Would love to try something new if you have a particular family favorite. Thanks!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kaoru: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Hello ladies! Thanks for inviting me to join your group. Looking forward to blogging with you.

I was eager to try a new dish especially since I find myself preparing butternut squash in the same way all the time. I always just roast with a bit of melted butter, brown sugar & S/P.

So on Saturday morning, I gave it a go. I followed the directions, making a few minor tweaks: I used rice/balsamic vinegars instead, roasted the squash for 20 minutes at 375*, and skipped the parsley. And since I’d never made frozen black eye peas before, I followed the directions on the package. Big mistake – my first batch turned to mush!

After the squash was roasted, the peppers cut and the dressing made, I combined it all.

What turned out was quite a lovely salad that my husband and I have been munching on all weekend. The acidity from the dressing brightens up the flavor, the peppers add nice texture/kick, and the goat cheese adds a wonderful creaminess. As well, I love that there's protein in the salad from the black eyed peas. I think next time I’ll skip the marjoram and use just parsley instead. Ashley, thanks for posting!