Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recipes that get me through the winter

There are the two recipes that get me through winter. Both are salads of sorts. The first recipe is a warm winter salad and is easy, and so damn tasty.

Warm Winter Salad
-adapted from Serious Eats
-serves 4- (or 2 who want some leftovers for work the next day)

Half a loaf of artisan bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
Small butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes (you can substitute sweet potatoes here, but you miss out on the creamy goodness)
1 lb of brussels sprouts cut into halves
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4-5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Good hard cheese (dry aged goat, manchego, parmesan)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Put bread cubes on a baking sheet and the squash and brussels sprouts on another
3. Drizzle olive oil over bread and vegetables and sprinkle vegetables with chopped sage
4. Add salt and pepper to taste to both baking sheets and put in the oven
5. Take out the bread cubes after 10 minutes and the vegetables after 15-20 minutes. I like to let my veggies go a bit longer to caramelize.
6. Whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar with some salt and pepper to taste
7. Line two wide soup bowls with toasted bread
8. Layer vegetables on top
9. Sprinkle chopped shallots over the vegetables
10. Top each with some vinaigrette
11. Shave good quality cheese on top

My husband and I have been eating this almost once a week during the last two winters and we never tire of it. In fact, we always get a little excited when it's "warm winter salad night".

I can think of a bunch of variations depending on what is in your fridge:

-use walnut or hazelnut oil for the dressing
-throw some crumbled blue or goat cheese in at the end instead of shaved cheese
-throw other vegetables into the mix: parsnips and leeks come to mind as tasty choices
-throw other herbs into the mix: roast veggies with sprigs of fresh thyme on top or add fresh chopped herbs to the dressing

Most importantly, enjoy and adapt as you see fit!