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Author Notes: When it is cold outside I rather eat warm food also when it is a salad. This is the basic side salad, if you like to eat it as a main dish you can add little chunks of Gorgonzola. The salad is my own idea, only the way I make the mushrooms I adopted from the Ottolenghi cooking book. —Janneke Verheij
- 1/2 pound chestnut mushrooms
- 1/2 pound pumpkin (butternut squash)
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 1/4 pound baby Spinach
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 thyme twigs
- 1 cinnamon stick
- handfuls toasted walnuts
- olive oil
- pepper and salt
- Cut the tomatoes in 4 to 6 parts and put them on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamico, garlic (1), pepper and salt and put them in the oven until they lost enough water. It can take up to 2 hours, depending on how dry you like them. I just put them on the bottom on the oven and use the oven also to make the pumpkin, just turn the heat down again to 300F when the pumpkin is ready.
- Cut the pumpkin in cubes, you can leave the skin on, transfer to a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper and salt. Bake them on 400F until soft.
- Cut the garlic not to small. Warm a thin layer of oil in a pan and add the garlic, thyme, pepper, salt and a cinnamon stick. If the mushrooms are small just add them whole, very big ones cut in two. Let them stand on a middle high fire for a couple of minutes, now throw them over and leave until soft.
- Wash the spinach and put in a bowl. When the mushrooms, pumpkin and tomatoes are ready, add them to the spinach.
- I used the garlic and oil from the pan to make my dressing. Poor it in a jar and add a tablespoon of balsamico, ½ teaspoon of honey and pepper and salt to taste. Shake it together, taste, and when satisfied, poor over the salad. Top of with the toasted walnuts.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Autumn Salad