Panfusine and I were eagerly awaiting this week's contest theme when she guessed it would be fruit & veggie salad.
Well, she was wrong, but this salad is sooo right. The butternut squash counts as a fruit and the lotus is the vegetable.
Unfortunately when I made it for lunch, we didn't remember to take a picture until lunch was over. One picture is of the decimated bowl, the other is a better picture of the beautiful lotus root. —lorigoldsby
jar pickled lotus root
fruity olive oil ( I used Temecula Olive Oil's Citrus Reserve Late Harvest)
rice vinegar or a fruity balsamic vinegar
Cook butternut squash in a 350 oven for 35 min or until tender but not falling apart... Cool. Remove skin and cut into long rectangular "railroad ties".
Drain lotus root. Rinse well to remove pickling brine.
Make vinagrette using a fruity olive oil and a fruity balsamic vinegar. ( I had a gift bottle of Honey Ginger White Balsamic from Devo Olive Oil in Branson, Mo ) add zest and juice of 1 orange, salt and white pepper..
Toss ingredients together to coat lotus and butternut squash. Chill before serving...although this salad can be served room temp. Add pumpkin seeds and edible flowers before serving. the flowers are purely optional...I was inspired by the beautiful purple of the pansies as a contrast to the butternut squash.
I learned to cook with my Gran. I can still see her reading a recipe and figuring out how she would make it better. She was fearless about substituting ingredients--but also knowledgeable. She approached food in the same way she built her antique business--appreciate quality ingredients and workmanship, but don't be a snob. I think I carry those same beliefs in my approach to cooking. I love family style dinners, I love a fancy ladies' luncheon with my wedding china, or a backyard seafood boil to celebrate my husband's birthday...I love to share food with others.