Warm Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad with Glazed Tofu | heartbeet kitchenSpecial thanks to the SoyFoods Council & the Healthy Aperture Network for sponsoring this post as part of their “#SoyInspired Thanks-giving” campaign. Appreciate you for stopping by!

Let’s be honest. Thanksgiving is like the Super Bowl for food people. The meal list, magazine flipping and idea jotting starts once Halloween is over. The keys to a perfect turkey, stuffing of every kind, and pumpkin pies begin to take over Pinterest. And then there’s the contemplating of whether to try something new or bring the tried and true.

In addition to the other dishes I’ve got my eye, I’m bringing plant power to the table in the form of this Warm Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad topped with Maple Glazed Tofu. Tossed with dried cranberries and fresh rosemary, you’re looking at vibrant, real food. It’s the kind of dish that’s healthy yet satisfying in the best of ways.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & KaleBy just looking at the name of this salad, some might tell you they don’t normally like at least one of the 3 main components. After all, brussels sprouts, kale and tofu were once considered hippie food.

But thank goodness for the person who decided to shred kale and brussels sprouts, turning them into sweet, softened strands. And instead of raw or steamed, sauteing these nutrient dense powerhouses gives them a soft texture without being soggy.

Warm Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad with Maple Glazed Tofu {gf, v}I also bow down to the person who figured out that marinating and broiling tofu does wonders for both taste and texture. The edges are browned and crisp and the inside is soft and chewy.

The maple glaze does double duty in this seasonal salad, acting as the marinade for the tofu, but also coating the vegetables as they’re warmed on the stovetop. Besides shredding them into thin, papery strands, heat is another way to soften these members of the normally tough and sturdy brassica family. The result is like a silky coleslaw, with a little crunch still let in them.

Warm Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad with Glazed Tofu | heartbeet kitchenAs someone who eats vegetarian 90% of the time (which I talk about here), I know how important it is for me to get protein from other sources, like tofu. And even if you you’re mostly a meat eater, it can be very beneficial to vary the proteins you eat not just for health reasons, but also because our bodies crave different tastes and textures.

Warm Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad with Glazed Tofu | heartbeet kitchenSo the countdown to “Superbowl Thursday” is on. Chances are you’ll be gathering with someone who is vegan or vegetarian, which this recipe fits the bill for. (And because food allergies are quite commonplace too, I thought it would be nice for you to have a gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free idea too.)

Even for those who normally head straight for the turkey, I think they’ll be#SoyInspired by the glistening maple tofu and vibrant colors of my new favorite holiday salad. Have a great week my friends, and let me know in the comments below if there’s another Thanksgiving recipe I should be pinning!

Also, The Soyfoods Council is celebrating a #SoyInspired Thanksgiving with a giveaway certain to make holiday entertaining easier: a $200 Williams Sonoma gift card! Click here to enter.

Warm Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad with Maple Glazed Tofu

serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (16 ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained and pressing using these directions
1 pound brussels sprouts
1 large bunch of dinosaur kale
3/4 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons minced rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add glaze ingredients to a mason jar and shake vigorously (with cover on) to combine. Cut pressed tofu into 3/4 inch cubes and add to a ziploc bag. Pour marinade over all ingredients, seal bag and lightly shake to coat. Let marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile trim and thinly shave the brussels sprouts using a sharp knife or mandoline. Then thinly slice the kale leaves into ribbons. When the tofu has finished marinating, drain the glaze into a bowl and place the tofu on a parchment lined baking sheet so that the cubes are not touching each other.

Add the remaining glaze to a large saute pan and add sprouts, kale, cranberries and rosemary. Cook over low heat, stirring as you go, for about 5-6 minutes, until both are brighter green and have soft/ shrunken slightly. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

Bake tofu for 8 minutes, then stir to turn over tofu cubes and turn oven to broil. Broil for about 4 minutes, until tofu has a golden brown exterior and looks caramelized. Remove from oven. Taste and adjust salt if needed, then plate on top of greens and serve warm.

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Homemade Gluten-Free Apple PieGrowing up, every family gathering during the months of September to January included my grandmother’s apple pie. I would help her pick and peel the apples, she would bake. She made rolling out the crust look like a breeze. And when it came out of the oven it was always perfectly browned, with flakey layers made possible from a heavy dose of butter. The top glistened with sugar and a little egg wash, a caramelly glaze stuck to the sides from the juices that escaped.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie | heartbeet kitchenThose sweet memories flowed through my mind as I made this homemade gluten-free apple pie, with a lattice-top crust and SnowSweet apples from my favorite local orchard, Whistling Well Farms. Admittedly I felt proud as I took it out of my (NEW!) convection oven, the classic cinnamon sugar scent covering me like perfume.

Similar to how everyone fought over the first piece of my grandma’s pie, I fought with myself to resist a bite before I photographed it.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie | heartbeet kitchenJust like a cake, you can usually tell much of your success/fail ratio when cutting the first slice. I wanted to rejoice as I felt the knife slide through the crisp crust and hit the bottom.

The crust hadn’t gotten soggy, and the leisurely bake had given the highly stacked apples a tenderness, with jammy pockets of their own juices. Although the crispy sage that I used for garnish is optional, I think it adds such a beautiful touch.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie with Crispy Sage | heartbeet kitchenPie crusts can be intimidating even though they’re made from just a few ingredients. Getting them to roll out evenly, not fall apart, turn out buttery & flakey – there’s a lot of components. Then throw gluten-free into the mix and it can seem even more difficult.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie with crust made from Cup4Cup FlourLast spring I made gluten-free rhubarb hand pies, which certainly helped me get over some of my fears, but its not the same as making a whole pie. Armed with a little research and the gluten-free flour blend that never lets me down, Cup4Cup, I set out to conquer an all-butter crust complete with a lattice crust. It’s the gluten-free flour I always have at home and what I used throughout my book. So when Cup4Cup asked me to partner with them for autumn pie inspiration (and a giveaway below!) using their new Wholesome Blend, I was excited to create something for you.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie | heartbeet kitchenThis new blend is wonderful: full of nutrient dense flours, dairy & corn free (I know many of you had been asking for that) & non-GMO. Think of the Wholesome Blend like you would whole wheat flour, hearty and nutritious. It’s made from brown rice flour, white rice flour, golden  flaxseed, rice bran & xanthum gum. The combination of these ingredients gives it great color & texture, making for one gorgeously browned crust. It turned out light, flakey and nutty from the whole grains – another reason why I actually prefer gluten-free flours over regular all-purpose.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie | heartbeet kitchenOne of my favorite things about cooking is the continuous learning. Here are some tips I took away after a few trials in gluten-free pie making that will hopefully help you:

1. More whole grains in this blend means more fiber. Fiber acts as an absorbent, so you’ll always need a little more liquid or fat when baking with it. That being said, for the crust I used honey instead of sugar and a little more water than what you would typically use.

2. Leverage is key for rolling out the dough. Even though I’m quite tall, it helped immensely when I got on a stepping stool and was able to take control of the crust.

3. Gluten-free dough is stickier, so always line your counter with saran wrap, dust it with flour. Then put your dough on top of it, followed by another sprinkle of flour, followed by saran wrap. Then you’ll be able to roll it just like your grandmother did.

4. I know you’ve heard it before, but all crust ingredients should be ICE cold. This helps the butter stay firm so those fats can expand and create air bubbles when baked, which is where the flakiness comes from. Also, use the refrigerator and freezer to your advantage when working with the raw crust. When it’s cold, its much easier to work with.

5. Don’t mix your fruit (apples in this case) with sugar & cornstarch too far in advance of filling the crust. Since sugar pulls out the liquid in fruit, you will end up with too much water, resulting in a soggy crust.

Gluten Free Apple Pie with crispy sage | Heartbeet KitchenYou guys got this, I’m sure of it. But you need some Cup4Cup flour to experiment with, right? Cup4Cup is graciously giving away an awesome gluten-free flour gift package to one of you that includes their regular all-purpose gluten-free blend, new Wholesome Blend, gluten-free brownie mix, pancake & waffle mix, and pizza crust mix. Plus I’m adding in my new cookbook, Smitten with Squash so you can bake with me all winter long. Enter now until December 2nd, open to US residents only. Happy baking!

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Disclosure: Cup4Cup Flour did provide me with their gluten-free flour to develop this recipe and the giveaway products, but opinions are my own. I have recommended them time and time again and can’t say enough good things about their gluten-free products! A staple in my kitchen.

Gluten-Free Pie Crust

makes 2 single crusts
305 grams of Cup4Cup Wholesome Gluten-Free Flour (if using a gluten-free flour blend that does not contain xanthum gum you should add 3/4 teaspoon to your mix)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons (1 stick + 6 tablespoons) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons ice cold water

Add flour, honey and salt to food processor. Pulse a couple of times to blend. Then add cold butter and pulse until most of the butter is the size of peas. It’s okay if you see a few larger chunks.

How to Make a Pie CrustRemove food processor base and stir water in by hand (I like to save on dishes so I don’t use another bowl, but you could). Dump the scraggly dough onto your counter and work in together with your hands to form a tight circle.

How to Make a Pie CrustFlatten the circle, wrap in saran wrap and place in refrigerator for at least one hour, up to overnight. When chilled, divide the dough into two equal pieces. Line your counter with saran wrap, dust it with flour, then put your dough on top. Sprinkle top of crust with a little more dough, cover with large piece of saran and roll out into a large circle that will fit your pan. Remove saran and gently lift into pie pan. Use THESE amazing details to make your lattice top – thanks to The Kitchn for always being such a wonderful resource!

Gluten-Free Apple Pie with Step by Step Crust Tutorial

Gluten-Free Apple Pie with Lattice Top Crust
makes one (9 or 10 inch) pie

2 3/4 pounds firm apples such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady or SnowSweet (about 6-7 medium), peeled and cored
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage + extra leaves for garnish (both are optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make pie crust above, put bottom crust into your pie plate and set in refrigerator. Cut peeled apples into thin wedges and put into a large bowl. Stir in lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cornstarch and minced sage. Add this mixture to the bowl of apples and stir to coat. Dump into pie plate with bottom crust. Top apples with the lattice strips that you have made, following instructions linked to above. Bake pie on the bottom rack for 7 minutes, then move to the middle rack, placing pie on a metal baking sheet to catch spills. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for additional 40 minutes or until juices are bubbling and crust is nicely browned. About midway through baking, put a foil lining around the edges of the crust to ensure that it does not burn. If you want the crispy sage for a pretty garnish, heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a small saute pan over medium high heat. Add clean sage leaves and fry until crispy, about 3 minutes. Pie will keep for 3 days (do not refrigerate or will turn soggy) or you can freeze it.

38 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Fall, Featured Recipes, Recipe Box, Summer, Sweets, Winter

Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn

by Amanda Paa on November 3, 2014

Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn (vegan)If you grew up in the Midwest, chances are you’ve had a bowl of Wisconsin beer cheese soup topped with popcorn. I vividly remember my mom making it for dinner parties and people raving, the popcorn adding a gourmet touch. Fast forward twenty years and I was set to host a few girlfriends for an afternoon of catching up.

Playing off the beer cheese soup memories, I made this Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn – gluten free, vegan and packed with flavor. And the velvety texture….. it’s a dream.

Creamy Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb PopcornHave you ever tried soaking nuts and blending them to replace heavy cream or cheese? Not only does it increase their nutritional content, but they make a creamier soup than cream ever will, especially cashews. The texture is silky, but not thin, giving it a wonderful mouthfeel. I find that cream only adds richness, not body.

Creamy Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb PopcornIf you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen a few pictures of me noshing on Quinn popcorn. It’s a snacking staple around here, especially when entertaining, and many times my single lady dinner paired with a glass of wine. Their Olive Oil and Herb flavor is one of my favorites and happened to go just perfectly with this soup. It’s light and bright, a great match for the puree of roasted cauliflower and garlic.

I was fascinated with Quinn’s concept the first time I had a bag. They are so incredibly passionate and transparent about where their ingredients come from, with a simple mission to clean up a simple snack for people like you and me.

Quinn Popcorn PartyI had shied away from buying microwave popcorn after learning about the chemicals & toxic ingredients used in classic Orville Redenbacher or the like. You can read more about it here. But it’s back in my life thanks to Quinn. You won’t find anything scary in their products – from the Pure Pop Bag, (compostable and made from paper that’s pressed to make it grease proof) to their amazing flavors.

Non-GMO and organic corn, no preservatives or artificial ingredients. The cheeses are rBGH-free (they have a hickory smoked cheddar, as well as parmesan & rosemary flavors). Their butter is real. The maple in their kettle corn version comes from Vermont. They give you cold-pressed sunflower seed or extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on the hot kernels. How much better can it get?

Creamy Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb PopcornThey have taken so many steps to reinvent microwave popcorn, I could go on and on. I’ve been wanting to tell you about their story for quite awhile because we share the same passion, inspiring others to know where their food comes from. It’s not only important for our health, but also the transparency between consumers & food companies.

As cooler weather approaches and we retreat indoors to enjoy good food and each other’s company, this creamy cashew cauliflower soup is one that everyone can enjoy. You can make it a day ahead of time, popping the corn a few minutes before guests arrive, filling the house with that classic, comforting smell.

And for a fun appetizer bar, set out different flavors so people can make their own mixes. Or throw together a blend of the Hickory Smoked Cheddar, pretzels and pepita seeds. Such an easy, savory snack that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Hickory Smoked Cheddar Quinn Popcorn with Pretzels & Pepita Seeds

Cashew Cauliflower Soup with Herb Popcorn

serves 6

1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 1/2 pounds once cored)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves of garlic, peeled & cut in half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced celery
3/4 cup raw cashews + 1/4 teaspoon salt, soaked in 1/2 cups filtered water for 8 hours
5 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Quinn Olive Oil & Herb Popcorn for topping (you can find it at Target or Whole Foods)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Add cauliflower and garlic to a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir, then add salt and stir again to coat. Spread onto two large sheet pans and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and celery, cooking for 5 minutes until translucent. Add cashews (including water they have soaked in) and broth, then bring to a simmer. When cauliflower and garlic are finished cooking, add to stock pot. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add to a blender in batches. Puree until smooth. Garnish with popcorn.

*I was not paid by Quinn Popcorn to write this post, only some samples to play around with for recipe creation. I love their product and company mission so much that I wanted to introduce you! My pantry always has a few boxes on hand, and I hope you give them a try soon. 

Cauliflower Cashew Soup with Herb Popcorn

21 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Fall, Featured Recipes, Main Dish, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl

by Amanda Paa on October 25, 2014

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Pomegranate Jam SwirlAlright I know. This is a seasonal food blog and here I am posting a recipe for olive oil ice cream in the middle of fall. But being that there are swirls of pomegranate jam throughout this frozen treat, I’m giving it an in-season label.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Pomegranate Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchenI’d been wanting to make olive oil ice cream since licking a bowl of it clean at a funky ice cream shop last year in Austin, Texas. Normally I’m a salted caramel or peanut butter kind of gal, but I was so glad I took a chance on this one.

It was smoother than any ice cream I’d had, a texture I’d found only in gelato, without being quite as rich. The nuances of the olive oil shined through – a little fruity, savory and slightly floral.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Pomegranate Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchen I fell asleep dreaming about it, then scoured Pinterest the next morning for a version I could make at home. This one caught my eye right away, as well as this one I stumbled upon from the always reliable Dorie Greenspan. Due to the craziness of starting a new job (which I left recently, but that’s a whole story in itself) and getting my book off the ground, I never got a chance to to churn up a batch.

Until now. I created the base using a blend of the two recipes I mentioned above, and added my own touch with swirls of pomegranate jam. I reduced the sugar and honey slightly, knowing that the sweetness of the fruit would take its place.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchenThe olive oil adds a velvety mouthfeel and balance, smooth in both texture and taste, kind of like a fine wine. Know that the kind you use is important and will make a difference in how your ice cream tastes. You want to make sure it’s cold-pressed and doesn’t have a peppery finish. Instead, one that is fresh and floral will give you the best outcome. (Here’s a helpful list from California Olive Oil Ranch. I like to use the Arbequina EVOO.)

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchenInstead of adding the jam while it was in the machine, I let the ice cream finish churning, then emptied half of it into the pan, spooned the jam over it, then covered it with the remaining half. That way you get to taste the olive oil on its own, with sporadic bursts of tart and tangy pomegranate. (Seedless raspberry would work great too.)

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchenIt’s good. Really good. A little sophisticated some may say, but if I’m going to be fancy, let it be with ice cream.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl

adapted from Adventures in Cooking and Dorie Greenspan’s recipe

3 large egg yolks, whisked in a medium-sized bowl
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pomegranate jam (I love Just Jan’s, which is what I used here) or seedless raspberry jam

Heat the milk, cream, sugar, honey, and salt in a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan over low heat until the mixture becomes hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and gradually drizzle 2 cups of the milk mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Once the 2 cups have been incorporated, pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan, still whisking. Place the pan back onto the stovetop and cook over the lowest heat setting, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened, (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat, and whisk in the olive oil and vanilla extract until fluidly combined. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prep your ice cream maker according to directions, mine have me freeze the bowl it will churn in overnight as well. The next day, remove the ice cream mixture from the refrigerator. If the olive oil has separated a little, just give it a good whisk before you pour it into your ice cream maker. Allow the ice cream maker to churn according to the manufacturer’s directions or until the mixture begins to freeze up and thicken considerably. (Mine took about 20 minutes.) Empty half of the ice cream into a freezer-safe container, then spoon jam over it evenly. Cover with remaining ice cream. Seal it, place it in the freezer, and allow it to freeze for 4 hours before serving.

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Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Salad {gf, vegan}I know you may be tired of me evangelizing about squash. But please hold on! The best is here.

Several lovely blogging friends are helping me share a whole week of winter squash recipes from my book, Smitten with Squash, and we’re all giving you a chance to win a copy for your own kitchen. When you take a peak at the Gluten-Free Delicata Donuts or the Fresh Herb & Gruyere Spaghetti Squash Saute, I think you’ll fall in love with the curcubit family as much as I have.

For this week of #SquashLove, I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes from the book, this vibrant & nourishing Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad. I also thought it would be fun to answer 3 of the questions people ask me about my writing and this vegetable I’m so smitten with.

Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Fall SaladA whole book on squash? Why?

When my publisher contacted me in early 2013 about writing a book for their Northern Plate Series, each being a cookbook and resource guide on a single Midwest ingredient that has been a strong part of our culture, I immediately knew my proposal would be on squash. Living inn an area where growing seasons are short and very unpredictable, squash is one of the only families that is nearly “in-season” all year round. Between the long and slender summer squash varieties, to the thick skinned blue hubbards and kabochas that last for months when cellared properly, the curcubit family holds a special place in my heart. They bring a sense of comfort and nostalgia, like your grandmother’s buttery zucchini bread or a butternut and sage pasta that warms your soul in the middle of winter.

And then there’s the possibility of new ideas that I found so delicious and eye opening. Like how wonderful red kuri can be when braised in an ethopian spiced peanut stew or the silkiness that blue hubbard adds to a cinnamon spiced pudding, topped with macadamia nuts for good measure.

I’d like to cook with squash more, but prepping/cutting it up is a little scary and a lot of work. Do you have any tips?

Many varieties of winter squash are wobbly, dense and tough to break open. When I was creating all of these recipes, I quickly found out that safety and efficiency in working with them was going to be key, as well as something I wanted to help you with. You’ll find lots of information on that in the book, and here’s a one minute video that I filmed with Jennifer Simonson of MPR (she’s so talented!) on how to easily cut & prep a butternut squash:

I also spent some time with The Kitchn, sharing my 7 tips to easily cut and prep any winter squash, not just butternut. You can find that article here. In short, it comes down to two key things: a very sharp knife & stabalization.

how to cut & dice butternut squashAcorn and butternut are the only squashes I’ve tried. What other types do you suggest I explore?

Butternut and acorn are no slouch in the squash family, but we tend to make those all the time because they’re familiar. However, one of the reasons I wrote the book was to introduce people to the other delicious varieties that farmers are growing. Most of the time people see a kabocha, delicata or blue hubbard, they’re a little unsure of what they taste like or how to prepare them so they pass them by. It’s kind of like how people used to perceive weird looking or oddly colored tomatoes. Once you try one, you’ll fall in love with the unique differences in taste and texture. Challenge yourself this year by picking one up that you’ve never cooked with and experiment. That was the way I started, and my book can help guide you through using them in the kitchen.

On a side note, I think squash is the new pumpkin in terms of seasonal baking. Less water content and starchier flesh makes the puree a wonder to work with. Give that a whirl and let me know what you think.

Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Salad {gf, vegan}And here’s a chance for you to win your own copy of the book! Just enter using the widget below from now until Wednesday, October 22nd at 11:59pm. Open to US residents only. Thanks for all your support with the book and your embrace of #squashlove. xo

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Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing
from the Smitten with Squash Cookbook
serves 6

I adore this splendid autumn salad that includes some of Minnesota’s very best natural ingredients. Butternut squash works well for this dish because it holds its shape beautifully after being roasted. The combination of nutty wild rice, a simple maple dressing, and fresh herbs are not only delicious together, but their vibrant colors combine to make one stunning dish.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
Prepare dressing by pureeing all ingredients with an immersion blender or by vigorously whisking

2 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced kale (lightly massaged) or spinach
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks, both white and green parts
1/2 cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 cups cooked wild rice, warmed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until fork tender. In a large bowl, combine spinach, leeks, cherries and basil. Stir in warm rice and squash so that spinach wilts slightly from the heat. Stir dressing (recipe below) into salad; taste and adjust salt level if needed. Serve at room temperature.

26 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Fall, Featured Recipes, Main Dish, Recipe Box, Salad, Seasonal, Vegetarian, Winter