Roasted Delicata Squash Salad & Cauliflower and Leek Gratin

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Guanciale and Goat Cheese

  • 2 medium delicata squash cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices, seeds removed
  • 6 ounces of guanciale, pancetta or slab bacon, cubed into 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cups of baby kale and/or arugula
  • 4 ounces aged goat cheese, shaved
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

For dressing:

  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash and guanciale with brown sugar, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, flip squash and roast for another 10 minutes or until squash begins to brown and guanciale is crispy. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Make dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble salad, spread the greens in serving platter and toss with half the dressing. Layer the squash, guanciale and pomegranate seeds over the greens and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Toss lightly and shave the goat cheese over the top.

Makes 4 servings.

Cauliflower and Leek Gratin

  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely grated or chopped
  • 4 tbsp butter, plus more to butter dish
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ large or 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 large leek, trimmed and thoroughly washed
  • 8 oz gruyère cheese, grated (a combination of gruyère and a medium-hard Italian cheese like fontina would work well too)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 325℉. Butter a 2-quart, ovenproof baking dish.

Slice cauliflower into ½” think slices–keep the small pieces that fall off as you cut. Cut leek in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moons along its length.

Combine half-and-half, butter, garlic, mascarpone and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat.

Place the smallest pieces of cauliflower at bottom of dish, then add about half the remaining slices. Sprinkle with salt. Scatter with half the leek pieces, then half the cheese. Repeat with remaining cauliflower, leek, and cheese, then pour cream and garlic mixture on top of gratin. 

Lightly butter or spray a piece of foil and tightly cover the pan, then bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and vegetables begin to soften. Remove foil and bake for 15-20 minutes more, until top is golden brown. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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