Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Pomegranate Seeds

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

1 (3½-4 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, then cut into 1-inch cubes

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced small (3 cups)

⅛ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper (chile flakes), or to taste

1 teaspoon yellow curry powder

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly (1 tablespoon)

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped roughly, for serving

Crème fraîche, for serving

Pomegranate seeds, for serving

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 475ºF.

Add the squash, salt, a few good cranks of pepper and a healthy drizzle of olive oil (enough to fully coat all the squash) to a large bowl and mix well.

Spread the seasoned squash in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and roast, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes, until nicely caramelized and cooked through. Remove from the oven and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the onions, chile flakes, curry powder and thyme to a small pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the cinnamon, roasted squash and stock to the caramelized onions. Cover, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and orange juice and purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley, a dollop of crème fraîche, and some pomegranate seeds.

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Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Frisée, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts

Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Frisée, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts

Chef Nathan Lyon Beet Salad

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Beets:

3 pounds golden beets

3½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

⅓ cup water

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad:

1 large head frisée, rinsed, dried, and chopped or torn into bite-size pieces

3 medium oranges

4 ounces goat cheese (chèvre) (about ½ cup)

Candied Spiced Walnuts (or pecans)

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from the oranges)

1 medium shallot peeled and diced small (3 tablespoons)

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Cut off the greens half an inch above the beets and reserve for later use (like, sautéed beet greens!). Scrub the beets.

Cut the peel and pith off the oranges, then segment them by cutting between the dividers (i.e. supreme). Discard any seeds, but reserve the juice for the vinaigrette.

In a roasting pan large enough to hold the beets in one layer, add the beets, then drizzle with 1½ tablespoons of olive oil, the salt and water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, place on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for approximately 50 minutes to an hour, or until the beets are easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven, remove the foil and allow to cool.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, using a not-so-important hand cloth, wipe the beet skins off and discard them. Know this, though: even in your sweetest of dreams, you will most likely never wash the red stains out of that hand cloth.

Cut the beets into wedges, place them in a bowl, then combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a cup and drizzle over the beets. Fold to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a medium container with a tight fitting lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Gently toss the frisée and orange segments with your hands, then dress with half the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper and additional vinaigrette to tasteDivide the salad among plates, then garnish with the beets, candied walnuts, and goat cheese, divided equally.

Orange Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

fennel spoon

Yield: 4 servings

 

Vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, diced small (2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from the orange used in the vinaigrette)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

In a medium container with a tight fitting lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

 

Salad:

2 large oranges

3 small fennel bulbs (buy fennel bulbs with stalks and fronds still attached)

¼ cup picked fennel fronds (from the fennel bulbs)

 

Cut the ends off the orange. Next, cut the peel and pith off the orange. Then, segment the orange by cutting between the membranes. Discard any seeds, but reserve the juice for the vinaigrette. Set aside segmented orange pieces for the salad.

Cut off the bottom and the stalks of the fennel. Sit the fennel upright and cut in half lengthwise. Lay each half flat on a cutting board and very thinly slice the fennel widthwise. You should have about 3 cups of thinly sliced fennel.

Combine all ingredients (orange segments, fennel, fronds) plus the vinaigrette into a medium bowl and toss to mix.

Works well as a side salad or as the perfect bed for a piece of salmon, white fish or piece of chicken.