Sometimes you just need something cleansing at the Thanksgiving table. This is really two cleansing salads in one. The raw butternut squash is julienned (I needed to get my money’s worth out of the gadget I bought to pull off dymnyno’s zuccaghetti) and dressed with some sweet and spicy ingredients commonly paired with it. The shaved fennel gets dressed with the winter trio of orange juice, honey and cumin. Since you marinate the veggies in their respective sauces for about 30 minutes before serving, you can serve the main course while the squash and fennel are becoming one with their dressing, and then just compose this salad to serve as a palate cleanser before you roll out the pies. —cheese1227
Spicy raw butternut salad
1 teaspoon Vietnamese garlic chili sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
4 Tbsp light vegetable oil
The straight neck from a sizable butternut squash, peeled and cut in half, julienned using wither a julienne peeler or the appropriate fitting on you mandolin
Marinated shaved fennel
Juice of half an orange (about 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons of good olive oil.
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, dry toasted and ground
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Two whole fennel bulbs (safe the fronds for garnish), halved, cored and shaved on a mandolin
Pomegranate seeds, optional garnish
In This Recipe
Prepare each dressing separately in two medium sized bowls.
Approximately 30 minutes before you want to serve the salad, put the raw julienned squash into its dressing, tossing to coat, and put the fennel into its dressing, also tossing to coat.
When it’s time to plate the salad (you can do this on individual plates or on a platter for family-style service), first spread the shaved fennel in one layer on the plates/platter. Then pile the julienned squash on top of it. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and (optional) pomegranate seeds.
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.