This salad dressing is a Fall and Winter favorite, with Sweetlife Apple Cider Vinegar and our favorite winter vegetable in the starring roles, embellished with Dr. Bob's seasonings. Our menus reflect the abundance of recently harvested winter squashes and pumpkins wintering in the cellar. Apples were picked and pressed in September, and every year we impatiently await the natural conversion of cider to vinegar, since we usually run out of last year's before this year's crop is ready.
Dress a hearty main dish salad of grains or legumes with this uniquely winter dressing, or use a light hand to delicately adorn baby greens. Overwintering fruits such as sliced apples and pears or pomegranate seeds are great additions, along with a sprinkling of your favorite nuts, seeds or cheese such as feta or gorganzola.
Here’s an combo idea to get you going: mixed greens, red onion, roasted salted pistachios, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds
If you can, roast your own squash or pumpkin for this recipe. The canned version isn’t a deal breaker, but roasting it yourself is so easy there’s no reason not to. Whether it is an acorn or butternut squash or one of my favorite pumpkins (‘winter luxury’ and ‘red kury’-- both are smallish and the bees' knees for flavor and baking), just treat it like a baked potato. The exterior on most uncooked pumpkins and larger varieties of winter squashes is tough and doesn't give up easily to any implement short of a hatchet, so baking them whole is a game changer.
Put the whole thing in an appropriately sized pan and bake in a conventional oven at 350 until it "gives up," and a sharp knife can be inserted without resistance. Let it cool, cut it open, scoop out the seeds and mash or puree the flesh. That’s it. Don't worry if it sags and looks kind of sad after it gives up-you would too.
Don't bake them in the microwave, since it’s also difficult to poke air holes in them when they're raw, and they explode in the microwave if you don’t….
Some people risk cutting off a finger cutting/peeling them, then boil the flesh in water until soft. The problem with this is they become waterlogged, and many of the nutrients end up in the water, so forgetaboutit.
I prefer the above mentioned varieties for their nutty flavor, rich color and a naturally low water content, perfect for pies and soups. Extra puree freezes well, saving steps for future meals.
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
!/4 cup pureed pumpkin or winter squash
1/4 cup Sweetlife Farm Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup (use the real thing!)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Dr. Bob’s Alder-smoked Pepper
1 tablespoon Dr. Bob’s Sweet Shot Rub
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid; shake until all ingredients are incorporated. Stores well covered in the refrigerator. I usually make a double batch….