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Inspired by the Argentine chef, Francis Mallman, and streamlined for the home cook by Sasha Martin(and modified slightly by me), this is wonderful comfort food on a cold day. Makes enough for a light meal, or use it as an impressive starter in a larger feast.
- 2 acorn squash (or pumpkinâ or whatever is in season)
- olive oil
For the vinaigrette
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bunch baby arugula
- 8 ounces goat cheese (or Bucheron- aged goat cheese)
- Preheat the oven to 400*F.
- Cut squash in half and remove seeds and strings. Brush cut ends liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 45-60 min, or until a fork pierces the flesh with no resistance.
- Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl. You can use an immersion blender to emulsify and “puree” everything together. You can also add everything to a blender or food processor and get the same result.
- Transfer roasted squash to serving plates. While still steaming, fill the cavities with crumbles of goat cheese and then baby arugula. Add vinaigrette to taste and toss, being sure to scrape pumpkin flesh into salad as you toss. Eat immediately.
- NOTE: I suggest letting guests assemble their own salad at table. This is a fun and interactive first course. Provide a shallow bowl to hold the pumpkin and 2 small spoons per person so that they can smash the ingredients together themselves.