Recipe by Kirstin Jackson
Forgo the brown sugar and let the sweetness of winter squash speak for itself this holiday in a salad with fresh Greek manouri cheese, arugula and frisée, roasted pecans, and tarragon. The sweetness of the buttery and floral cheese and squash make a nice contrast to the lemony vinaigrette, lightening up the often-heavy fall flavors considerably.
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced into ¾-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ ounces pecans
1 head frisée, trimmed and washed
2 handfuls arugula, washed
4 sprigs tarragon, picked
1 medium-sized shallot, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces manouri cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350º
Spread butternut squash cubes in a single layer over a sheet baking pan and drizzle the olive oil. Sprinkle with nutmeg and salt, and roast in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until squash is tender. Set aside to cool. While squash is cooking, roast pecans on a pan in oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
Place frisée, arugula, and tarragon leaves in a large mixing bowl along with roasted butternut squash.
In a small bowl, mix together shallots, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary. Pour just enough of this vinaigrette over greens to coat lightly and then toss. Divide onto 4 separate plates or bowls. Scatter manouri and pecans over salad and drizzle remaining dressing delicately over plates. Serves 4 as a first course.