|Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette|
If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know that I have been creating my own personal challenges based on a theme to infuse new life into my cooking adventures. Face it, I have been uninspired in the kitchen lately so needed a boost! If I can't live my dream and travel the world visiting every cooking school in every country the next best thing is to bring my own kitchen to life!!! Even every day food should be an adventure either with new ideas or experimenting with a new cuisine. Every day we should be excited about what we are eating even if it just means making use of an inspirational find at our local farmers market for our favourite comfort foods
As my third personal challenge after is My Face Red (and White) and My World is Blue (Lavender) I am creating a menu from appetizer to dessert that highlights British Columbian cuisine and ultimately Okanagan cuisine. I have included a few recipes from local chefs and wineries. My Cuisine du Terroir Challenge reflects what our local producers have to offer.
To start us off I offered my own version of Lamb Sliders with Lemon-Mint Sauce for my Cuisine du Terroir menu using local lamb. A quick trip to the farmers market this time of year will inspire you to get creative in your own kitchen and create a second course that celebrates the season. I chose an Ina Garten recipe that celebrates the harvest in this seasonal salad. Squash are just beginning to show up at our local roadside stands and farmers markets.
Maple syrup is a product of eastern Canada but I easily substituted birch syrup, a locally made product, for roasting the butternut squash. A savoury salad with a hint of sweetness from the smoky syrup. Serve to applause and enjoy!!
**Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette**
1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, 3/4-inch sliced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple or birch syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby spinach, 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 arugula 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.
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