Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter salad

This could just as easily be called a fall salad, but since Jack Frost has been doing much more than nipping at my nose this week, I'm going to go ahead and say winter. Even if it's still two weeks away.


This is loosely based on a salad I had at R+D Kitchen in Santa Monica awhile ago. All I remember was the  combination of warm butternut squash, creamy goat cheese, and cilantro. I'd never think to combine squash and cilantro on my own, but the cilantro really brightens everything. And who couldn't use a bit of brightness when it's getting dark at 3 p.m.? With the addition of some almonds, red onions and spinach, it's become my favorite salad this winter. 

I mean fall.

Butternut Squash Salad With Cilantro
This salad is more of an assembly of ingredients than a recipe, so I haven't really included quantities. Just make according to your taste and how many people you're feeding. 

- butternut squash, cubed (either baked at 350 for about 30-40 minutes or roasted at 425 for
25-30 minutes)
- cilantro, chopped
- goat cheese
- red onion, sliced into thin slivers (and briefly dunked in ice water, if raw onion is too potent for you)
- almonds (I use sliced almonds, but marcona almonds would be even better)
- lemon juice (fresh. squeezed from a lemon. put down the bottle)
- olive oil
- salt & pepper

Toss spinach in lemon juice and lay out on serving platter or plate. Scatter butternut squash (warm out of the oven is best, but cold tastes just fine), almonds, onions, cilantro and bits of goat cheese over the spinach. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

*When I take this to work, I bring a lemon wedge to dress the salad later in the day instead of having things get all soggy.

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