Sunday, November 15, 2009

Planning for Thanksgiving

Last year, I reviewed Thanksgiving menus from several food magazines (part one - part two - part three). It was fun, but I don't think I have time to do the same this year. However, I have been thinking about my contributions to our Thanksgiving meal. So far I have only settled on one thing - this salad:

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette 
1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces mixed greens, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the mixed greens in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.  - Recipe adapted from Ina Garten, via the Food Network

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