Our salad consumption has dropped like the NASDAQ since the weather turned colder and our CSA season ended.
This summer and fall, we were eating a salad with most of our meals, mostly to try to use up our greens, which were plentiful and seemed to multiply once placed in our crisper drawer.
So we've been on a bit of a salad hiatus.
But when our friend EJ came over for dinner last week, we saw it as an opportunity to experiment with a winter salad, and we kicked off the meal with this Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Salad.
We've never purchased or cooked with endive, though we have eaten it in restaurants. The endive we got from Whole Foods provided a nice crispness as a foundation for this salad, and a welcome (but very slight) bitterness that balanced the sweetness of the squash.
On top of the endive, roasted butternut squash and sliced Fugi apples are tossed with blue cheese and dried cranberries, adding traditional winter and holiday flavors. A simple balsamic vinegarette finishes the salad.
This is a hearty salad that could definitely serve as an entree salad (if you're into that sort of thing). It also works as an elegant start to a winter or holiday dinner party.
Are you eating many salads this winter, or are they seasonally dead to you? If you have ideas for other winter salads, we'd love to hear them!
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* Olive oil
* Nonstick vegetable oil spray
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 2 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
* 2 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
* Coarse kosher salt
* 4 heads of Belgian endive, root ends trimmed, leaves separated into individual leaves
* 2 unpeeled Fuji apples, halved, cored, cut into matchstick-size strips
* 8 oz blue cheese (such as Maytag), coarsely crumbled
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Dressing | Whisk vinegar and lemon juice in small bowl; gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Salad | Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush 2 large rimmed baking sheets with oil; spray with nonstick spray. Whisk vinegar and sugar in small bowl; set aside. Cut squash halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange squash in single layer on prepared sheets; brush with oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Roast 5 minutes; brush with sugar-vinegar mixture. Turn squash over and brush with sugar-vinegar mixture; roast 5 minutes. Roast until squash is tender when pierced with small knife, about 15 minutes longer. Cool on sheets. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Arrange 5 to 6 endive leaves on each of 10 plates. Place butternut squash slices in center of each plate. Scatter apples, cheese, and cranberries over squash. Drizzle dressing over and serve.