Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Squash and Mushroom Salad

The last couple months living in Thailand I spent Sunday afternoons wandering somewhat aimlessly around the streets of Bangkok. There were a lot of lonely moments mixed in with awe at the busy-ness of life going on around me. I would go to these 5-story, giganto malls and pretend that I could afford to shop at Gucci and Prada. Kinokuniya bookstores were the jackpot though. I can recall one day finding this Jamie Oliver cookbook at one bookstore and started drooling over the photos of food not involving rice that graced nearly every page (I do adore Thai food, but I couldn't get used to rice three times a day). I bought the book anyway, knowing I barely had enough room in my suitcase for something I could easily get in the U.S. Coming back from Thailand sort of turned a new leaf in my life in the kitchen (and out of it). I had spent months without even a kitchen sink or a hot plate in my apartment, and now I had my mom's newly remodeled kitchen and three family members not-very-excited about trying out my culinary inventions (excluding my mom, sorry dad, truth hurts). But since then, my Jamie Oliver cookbook has been collecting dust. Admittedly his recipes are slightly ridiculous--I remember making a page-long list of ingredients I had never heard of to look up later on Wikipedia. But last night I cracked it open and made "dumbed down" variation on his Roasted Squash, Proscuitto and Pecorino Salad, using the rest of the squash that was going to go in the quiche ...

Warm Squash and Mushroom Salad: (for one, so adjust as necessary)

1 cup butternut squash (or in my case, buttercup squash) 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms 1 tablespoon buttersalt, pepper and coriander to taste mixed salad greens parmasan cheese vinaigrette-based dressing Add butter and butternut squash to pan on medium-high heat. Add salt, pepper and coriander while you are sauteing. Saute until the squash becomes lightly browned on the edges (5-8 minutes). Add mushrooms and saute until the vegetables are browned and cooked through (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and add to greens. Sprinkle with parmasan, pecorino and/or romano cheese. If you don't already have a vinaigrette dressing, you can easily make one mixing olive oil and balsamic or red wine vinagre on a three-to-two ratio--so 3 tablespoons olive oil, two tablespoons vinagre, etc.--and add salt and pepper to taste.

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