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Autumn on a Plate, or the Best Harvest Salad Around

Autumn on a Plate, or the Best Harvest Salad Around | Lonny.com
(Ph. © Mark Jordan)The holidays bring with them ample opportunities for entertaining a crowd, whether you're hosting an intimate Christmas party of cocktails and small plates or preparing a full-spread Thanksgiving dinner for 20. In fact, every third Saturday in November, my family invites friends over for a pre-Turkey Day feast complete with festive sides and a guest list of overeaters ready to get the party started. It's usually a chance to try out inventive dishes that don't take the holidays quite so literally, and this year I've opted to provide Franklin Becker's Autumn on a Plate recipe to accompany the requisite debauchery.

In his new cookbook, Good Fat Cooking, the New York City chef creates heart-healthy meals that are wholesome yet satisfying and showcase the best of the season. The same is true of his multi-element salad, which incorporates Brussels sprouts, squash, apples, and mustard greens, among other veggies. If this dish sounds right up your alley, go for it, but don't be discouraged by the long ingredient list. "For some reason, people won't complain about having lots of ingredients if you are talking about paella or bouillabaisse, but they expect their vegetable recipes to be much simpler," says Becker. "Not me. I think vegetables can be as complex and want just as much care and thought as any lobster, beef, or poultry recipe." Well said! So without further ado, here's everything you need to make this dish your own.

Autumn on a Plate, or the Best Harvest Salad Around | Lonny.com

Autumn on a Plate
Serves 4

For the squash:
-- 1 pound kabocha squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
-- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
-- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
-- 1 cup water

For the vinaigrette:

-- 1 small leek, white part only, thinly sliced
-- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
-- 6 tablespoons olive oil
-- 2 tablespoons honey
-- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
-- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
-- 1 teaspoon whole tarragon leaves
-- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

For the salad:
-- ½ pound mustard greens, rinsed and stems removed
-- ½ pound Brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves removed, stem ends trimmed, and thinly shaved on a mandoline
-- 1 small watermelon radish, thinly sliced
-- 1 medium Gala apple, cored, thinly sliced
-- 1 small grapefruit-size celery root, peeled and diced
-- ½ cup blanched skinless hazelnuts, toasted
-- 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
-- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

To make the squash:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the squash halves with salt and pepper, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pour the water in a baking pan and add the squash, flesh side down. Roast until fork-tender, about 30 minutes, and let cool. Peel and cut into ½-inch dice and set aside.

To make the vinaigrette:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the leek, mustard, olive oil, honey, lemon juice, vinegar, and tarragon leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the salad:
In a large bowl, combine the mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, radish, apple, celery root, hazelnuts, and cheese. Add the squash and toss with the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chilled.

*Reprinted from Good Fat Cooking by Franklin Becker. © 2014 by Franklin Becker. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

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