Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Squash Salad

What do you do with a B.A. in English?
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge,
Have earned me this useless degree . . .
-Avenue Q, What Do You Do with a B.A. in English/It Sucks to Be Me

Have you seen Avenue Q? It came to Fort Lauderdale this week and I caught the show on Wednesday with my friend Tanya. Avenue Q's characters are fresh out of college, experiencing the kinds of conflicts that people in their twenties and early thirties experience ("Maybe I'm not meant to work in a damn office my entire life. Maybe I have a higher purpose!"). It parodies Sesame Street, with swear words.

It's not for everyone, this show. For example, it's not for kids. It also was not for the aged woman sitting to our left, who smoldered silently throughout the first half then stalked out at intermission and never returned. It was not her type of the-ah-tah.

I thought that it was pretty darn funny. Profane, but cleverly written. If it's coming to your city, go see it. Just leave your stuffy, humorless types and children at home.

Winter Squash Salad
A Fritter Original

For the salad
1 acorn squash, or any other hard winter squash
1 large heirloom tomato (look for one the size of a beefsteak tomato)
6-8 small fingerling potatoes
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, stripped from the branch
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

For the salad dressing
1/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Kalamata olives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half, remove the seeds, and smear both with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle each half with a little salt and pepper, then place cut-side down on a rimmed cookie sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted easily into the rind.

While the squash is roasting, cut the tomato into eights. Drizzle with the honey and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of rosemary over the slices. Add to the cookie sheet when the squash has been roasting for 30 minutes and continue roasting with the squash for another 15 minutes, or until the tomato skin is puckered and tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, then add the fingerling potatoes. Boil the potatoes for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Drain well and slice along the diagonal. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then casually assemble the potatoes, squash and tomatoes on four plates. Top with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Next, prepare the dressing. Combine all of the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified. Drizzle over the platter of potatoes, squash, and tomatoes, then serve immediately.

Serves: 4 side portions


Foodycat said...

Delicious salad!

I saw Avenue Q last year and thought it was just hilarious - my husband was confused though because he had managed to grow up without ever seeing Sesame Street!

Grace said...

squash is so wonderful and versatile, and this is a great combination of ingredients.
meanwhile, i'll have to introduce my brother to avenue q--he has his b.a. in english and is working on his phd. my question for him? what do you do with a phd in english? :)

Sarah said...

Foodycat: Wasn't it great? I laughed the whole time! I'm sure that if you didn't grow up with Sesame Street, it would be disorienting at first ("Puppets? What?"), but I hope that your husband enjoyed it all the same.

Grace: Your brother absolutely should see Avenue Q (and you should, too)! So funny. Wish I knew what to do with a phd in English; I barely knew what to do with my B.A. in English! Actually, more grad school is what I did, so he's on the right track :)

Mr. Rosewater said...

Sarah, this looks fantastic. I can't wait to try it. Can someone with a BA in English make this without too much trouble? =)
I haven't seen Avenue Q yet, but if it makes it out to San Francisco, I will make it a point to see it. Thanks for the recipe!

muddywaters said...

The thermometer read 9 degree right this moment in Lawrence, Kansas. I could use a warm, winter squash salad. Great recipe. I plan on rustling up the ingredients and make it this weekend. I let you know how it goes.

Thanks for sharing.