Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Squash season!

Before I get started with my recipe this week, if you're feeling like you're not making the most of your herbs, don't forget about my herbed rice recipe.  I made home-made GMO free falafels the other night and stuffed them in pitas with rice that was cooked with cilantro, parsley and a splash of lime juice.  It's as simple as just chopping it up, tossing it in and letting it sit for a minute and serving.  Brightens up rice so quick and easy!
Butternut squash are one of my favorite foods.  It's such a toned-down version of squash, but with that smooth, creamy texture that makes soups and roasted squash so good, and autumn one of my favorite times of year to cook.
The other thing I like about this recipe is that it showcases apples, which at this time year are so fresh and so good.  And although I don't usually stress too much about the price of food at the grocery store I can't be the only one who has noticed the price of apples has jumped significantly over the last few months.  That's why I love September and making our annual trip to Beamish's Orchards- the only organic orchard on PEI!  We stock up and the apples last so long and are so crisp and like summer-in-fall good.

One butternut squash, peeled and diced
2-3 crisp apples, diced.
1/2 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts or whatever you like)
a small handful of chopped parsley

Toss diced squash with: 1/4 cup oil
                                        2 tsp. honey
                                       salt and pepper
Spread squash on baking sheet, roast at 300 degrees until tender, but not too soft (30 mins-ish).
Allow to cool.
Combine with other ingredients.
Whisk together:
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. balsalmic vinegar
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper if needed, to taste.

Toss is all together.
The one fault of this salad is that there's a fine line between letting it sit to soak up the flavours of the dressing and having things turn slightly less bright.  Although I've had it sitting in the fridge overnight now and the flavour has gotten better and the apples are still crisp and the nuts still crunch, so I have no complaints.

I think next time I will add some finely chopped onions, or maybe try some different herbs.  It was really too heavy to be a 'salad' in my view, but was a delicious savory dish I will keep in my recipe box for a side to a chicken soup or something warm and cozy.


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