When I saw that this week’s Fall Fest theme was Mad Stash, with an interpretation towards “what do you want to eat a lot of before it’s gone for the season…,” I knew exactly what I was going to write about. The salad we had for dinner on Sunday night. Company for dinner, every Sunday, and this past weekend, I was brave and rolled out four new recipes. All four were good. This salad one with the dressing? Stellar. Absolutely positively stellar. And the ingredient I will miss when it’s out of season? Butternut squash. Another important ingredient in the salad. There were five kids at the table. Every single one of them ate this salad. Even those that claimed to not like butternut squash the week before. Nobody pushed it aside. Everyone went back for more. It was that good. Between the deliciously roasted squash … to the sharp bite of the Gorgonzola … to the peppery taste from the arugula … to the sweetness of the dressing. It all collided together into one magical chorus of Fall.
Make this. Make it often. It’s like taking the very best flavors and memories of Fall and putting it on a plate. And outside of the roasting of the squash, it takes five minutes to prepare. You can handle that, right?
Need more Mad Stash inspiration? Check out what my fellow Fall Festers are serving up tonight (some links might not be live until tomorrow am):
Alison at Food2: Break Out the Stash
Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Spiced Pear Butter
Kirsten at Food Network: Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
Liz at Healthy Eats: Mad Squash Stash
Michelle at Cooking Channel: Save Em’ While You Can
Caroline at the Wright Recipes: Brandied Apple Butter
Alana at Eating From the Ground Up: Chest Freezers and Why They’re Fabulous
Caron at San Diego Foodstuff: Single Woman’s Refrigerator Sauce (link coming soon)
Todd and Diane: Persimmons (link coming soon)
Aren’t those adorable? Madeline’s footprints are the second from the left.
They played Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin.
They decorated milk jugs and after some targeted hits on a pinata, they used the milk jugs to scoop up the candy that fell.
The little boy on the right is Chaze, and he’s in Madeline’s class. Every morning I drop her off, I sit down with her for a few minutes and as soon as I put my keys down, he makes a beeline for them and always presses the button I say not to. You know, the one that automatically starts my car. And when I leave to go to work, he runs up and fends off Madeline to give me kisses and hugs, clinging to my legs. Yesterday he accidentally called me Mommy. It’s very cute. When I pick her up, he races towards me, trying to sneak out with her. Because I’m certain I wouldn’t notice an extra little body following me. He is hugging his brother, and Chaze’s other brother (Spiderman’s twin) is in the back right in the blue Thomas costume. They’re all very sweet and looked at all the pictures I had on my camera, to approve each one.
As I was leaving her school today, I noticed yesterday’s theme. Love it!
Madeline’s teacher is on the right side dressed as Mary Poppins. Chaze is the skeleton on the right side in the front. Too cute. Very boy heavy classes this year! And, of course, my little cutie in the center. I have heavily bribed her to wear the wig for more than 30 seconds come Sunday. We’ll see how successful that ends up being.
1-1/2 lb butternut squash cut into 3/4 inch dice
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
3/4 cup apple cider (from a recent farmers’ market trip)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 shallot, diced (I skipped)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted (I skipped)
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (I used Gorgonzola)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450. Grease the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil or spray it with cooking spray. Put the butternut squash dice on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
2. In a small pan, combine the apple cider, cider vinegar, and shallot. Bring to a boil and then reduce until liquid amounts to about 1/4 cup (about 6-8 minutes).
3. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, olive oil, and maple syrup. Whisk in 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
4. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Toss with butternut squash, walnuts, and Gorgonzola. Add just enough vinaigrette to coat the arugula leaves.