Things to Make - Winter Salads

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One of my goals for the new year is to cook more, including making good salads (not the lazy kind with old bottled dressing you find in the back of the fridge). The BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD pictured above is from Carla Hall's cookbook, Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You (I sort of fell in love with her on Top Chef, plus she's a DC girl) and it's perfect for winter, even Dan likes it (despite the lack of meat).


* 1 cup fresh apple cider
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar
* 3 tablespoons minced shallot (from about 2 medium) (we skipped this step)
* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
* 1/2 cup canola or other neutral oil
* salt and pepper to taste

* 4 cups diced butternut squash (cut into 1/2 inch cubes) (we bought it already cut from Trader Joes)
* Extra virgin olive oil
* 8 cups mixed greens
* 2 green apples, diced
* 2 ounces aged cheddar cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
* 1/2 cup Sweet and Spicy walnuts (the recipe is in the cookbook, we used regular walnuts because I was feeling lazy)

To make the vinaigrette:

1. In a small saucepan, bring the apple sider to boil and cook until reduced to 1/4 cut. Let cool.

2. In a medium bowl combine the vinegar, shallots, mustard, and reduced apple cider. Whisk. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream. Season with salt and pepper. Can be stored in a closed jar (refrigerated) for about a week.

To make the salad:

1. Toss the squash with enough oil to lightly coat. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add the squash in a single layer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes longer. Let cool.

2. Combine everything in a large bowl and eat.

We've also been enjoying this MASSAGED KALE SALAD (from DC Farm to School Network), if only because it's so fun to pamper your greens.


* 1 handful of nuts (almonds/walnuts/pecans) or pumpkin/sunflower seeds
* 1 large bunch fresh kale
* 1 spoonfull of salt
* 1/2 onion or 1 shallot, thinly sliced
* 1 apple, sliced
* 1 - 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
* 1 handfull of dried fruit - cranberries or raisins
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/4 cup of mild goat cheese

To make the salad:

1. Wash and remove the tough stalks from the kale leaves, the tear into bite sized pieces and put in a large bowl. Add salt (between 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon) depending on how tough the kale is.

2. Massage the kale for about 5 minutes, until it is about 1/2 to 1/3 its original size and the color darkens.

3. Stir in other ingredients and eat.

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