Tweaking Thanksgiving

November 20, 2017

It’s not too early to be thinking about Thanksgiving and deciding what kind of sides to serve with the turkey always gets me thinking. Do I really want to do that green bean casserole or cranberry marshmallow salad again just because auntie B always made them? Or should I break with tradition and hope that no one minds. It’s time to think outside of the traditional box. One of my surprises will be this colorful, warm butternut squash salad. It is perfect for the holiday with its jewel like colors. Predictions are that this salad will be the new star of the table. Sorry auntie B.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad
Serves 4

1 small butternut squash peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and cut into thin crosswise slices, about ¼ inch thick
Extra –virgin olive oil as needed
2 ripe pears, cut in half, seeded and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups shredded radicchio
¼ pound Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shaved
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
½ cup dried cranberries

In a bowl toss the squash slices with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and roast them in a pre-heated 350F oven until they are knife tender. Transfer them to a bowl and drizzle them with 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Toss the pear slices with the remaining maple syrup and arrange them on a lightly oiled non stick baking dish and roast them in a 350F pre-heated oven along with the squash, until the pears are soft and slightly browned. Cool.

In a bowl toss the radicchio with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the vinegar. Add the cranberries and toss again. Add the pear slices and gently toss. Salt to taste

Divide the radicchio mixture among 4 salad plates. Spoon squash slices over the pears. Garnish with the shaved cheese.

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