A Feast for My Ladies

February 4, 2009 at 9:23 am | Posted in Dinner, Entertainment | 5 Comments

It has seriously almost been five years since I graduated from college, but that time has not severed the ties from my fabulous girlfriends that I met there. Luckily for me most of them live within 2 hours and also lucky for me – they like to eat what I cook!

Now it’s funny because the only dish we actually snapshotted was the salad! I promise you I didn’t just feed them salad… But it was a darn good salad- so there we go!

This salad came from my new favorite source of inspiration, Back to Basics. I wanted something light to go with the four course menu I planned and I also wanted to keep it seasonal. This salad combines arugula, roasted butternut squash and cranberries, walnuts, and parmesan all tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette. So this turned out great as it got rave reviews from the ladies!

Jesica picked this artichoke pesto from Giada and it was great! The lightest and most tasty dip I have ever encountered. For the main course I went to my standard entertaining dish, Chicken with Morels. The fact that my friend’s were literally licking their plates after this course and the fact that it can sit on the stove on low heating for at least an hour or two (after making it earlier in the day) makes this the perfect recipe. PERFECT! Do you hear me?? Lastly, I made this chocolate cake from Clotilde, which was amazingly simple and so decadent.

Salad Ingredients:

1 bag of arugula mix salad
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1.5 lb butternut squash, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
1 tbsp maple syrup
3/4 cup apple cider
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp minced shallots
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup walnut halves
3/4 cup fresh parmesan
evoo and s&p

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, maple syrup, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and toss.
2) Roast the squash for 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
3) While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup evoo, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.
4) Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and grated parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately!



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  1. ack, 5 years! but that’s so great that y’all keep in touch. and yay seasonal salads!

  2. spinach and pilaf is like mush! very little difference in texture, haha. we need to start a daring bakers equivalent for comfort food!

  3. wow that salad looks amazing!!! Your other posts are just fabulous too. So glad I found your blog. I totally want to try your brunch recipe! 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  4. Oh my gosh, that salad looks fab!!

  5. […] had to have a little dinner party before seeing them play! Last year my girls came over at we ate this and then headed down to Federal Hill for some dancing! Because of the proximity of the bar to my […]

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