Squash, apple, and goat cheese salad

Squash, apple, and goat cheese salad | fchem101.com

The vernal equinox last Friday heralded the beginning of spring, but I think Boston missed that memo. It started snowing Friday night and kept it up just through the run I dragged my sister on Saturday morning, marking at least the third time that it’s resumed snowing when I thought for sure that winter had done its worst and fled.

Can this be the last snowstorm? For real this time?

Squash, apple, and goat cheese salad | fchem101.com

Squash, apple, and goat cheese salad | fchem101.com

This salad strikes a balance between the season I wish would hurry up and leave and the season that teases but never stays: winter produce on a bed of fresh greens, totally comforting without the need to hibernate afterward. I discovered this combination while making myself lunch at a restaurant where I used to work, fell in love, and then proceeded to eat it in every possible form as long as the butternut squash stayed on the menu. Salad? Yes. Sandwich? Of course. Delicately spread on slices of baguette? Don’t mind if I do.

Squash, apple, and goat cheese salad | fchem101.com

However you decide to serve it up, the sweet squash, crisp apple, and creamy goat cheese go together like, well, hats and mittens. Boston and train trouble. Sunshine and sandals?

Maybe eventually.

Squash, apple, and goat cheese salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 as a main, 4 as a side
 
Prep everything else while the squash roasts, or pre-roast the squash if you have your life together enough for that sort of thing. Either way, this salad is fast, delicious, and full of veggies--but also plenty of cheese. It's also plenty delicious without the bacon, just add some sunflower seeds for crunch.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash, 2-3 lb., cut into 1-cm cubes
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • ½ t. smoked paprika
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 1 apple (I like Fuji or Gala here)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • DRESSING:
  • 1 shallot, cut into quarters
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 t. spicy mustard
  • 1 t. honey
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. bacon fat
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss the cubed squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and smoked paprika. Roast for 30 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.
  3. Cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Set aside, reserving bacon fat for dressing.
  4. While the squash roasts, wash and tear the lettuce, cut the apples into thin slices, and crumble the goat cheese and cooled bacon slices.
  5. Make the dressing: blend the shallot, garlic, mustard, honey, and vinegar in a blender until well combined, about 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in the bacon fat and olive oil to create an emulsion (the liquid should look cloudy and opaque). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Assemble the salad: top a good handful of lettuce with apple slices, squash, goat cheese, and bacon. Top with dressing.
  7. Use leftovers in sandwiches, as fancy appetizers in puff pastry shells, or in quesadillas. Repeat as necessary.
 

3 comments

  1. […] salads.) But the move has reunited me with my beloved blender, and I celebrated its return with an actual salad dressing. It has shallots and garlic and two kinds of fat, which means it’s fancy, but it takes […]

  2. Can we pin your recipes on Pinterest ? I don’t see the icon and I can not find your recipe on the site.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! You should now see Pin It! buttons when you hover over an image and at the bottom of a post. And I am on pinterest–follow me at https://www.pinterest.com/fchem101/!

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