November is slipping through my fingers. I have been working hard and playing hard, with little down time in between. I won’t bore you with the details of small business ownership, but I promise it’s not all puppies and pomegranate salads here at Cookie and Kate HQ. I grumble while I’m dealing with the technicalities, but deep down, I love it all. This little blog/business is all mine.
I’ve also been setting some pretty lofty goals, sketching out a site redesign, contemplating a move and trying to figure out how to make it all happen at once. Where’s my fairy godmother and her magic wand?
I can’t go on like this forever. Poor Cookie has been cooped up inside since the temperature dropped below 50 and no amount of yoga has been able to counteract my constant laptop hunch. I need some warmer leggings and a better office situation.
Actually, I need a better living situation altogether. My dining table is stuck in my now-frigid sunroom, my grandmother’s patio chairs are resting against the wall of my bedroom, and my portable dishwasher is killing the feng shui in my dining-turned-desk room. All for the sake of food photography. My ideal home might be a distant dream but I’m definitely due for an upgrade.
Someday soon, I’d like have a comfortable dining area for my girls when they come over for girls’ night. The dining area should actually be near the kitchen so I’m not running back and forth between the sunroom and the kitchen like a clown. More than anything, I want a grown-up kitchen with a disposal and more than three feet of counter space. Toss a small welcome mat on your kitchen counter and you’ll see how much space I have to work with.
Maybe I’m asking for a lot for just one person, but I’m not going to wait around for someone else to provide. It’s all on me, which is both thrilling and terrifying. So even though I’d rather lose my sleep-deprived self in JFK conspiracy theories and dark chocolate peanut butter cups today, I’ve decided to keep working with my head down. A few of my goals are almost within grasp.
We should talk about this salad before I go. This stunner just might steal the show at your Thanksgiving feast, and for good reason. Glittering pomegranate arils and golden squash taste just as good as they look.
If oven space is limited on Thanksgiving, I think you could roast the squash the day before, or if you want a more simple salad, you could skip the squash altogether. The squash is lovely, though, and delicata skin is so, well, delicate that you don’t even have to peel it off first. I’ve included some other substitution and serving suggestions in the recipe below!
- 2 medium delicata squash, around 1 and ¼ pounds total
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Fine grain sea salt
- 4 heaping cups arugula (or mixed baby greens)
- ⅔ cup pomegranate arils (or a generous handful of dried cherries or cranberries)
- ⅓ cup raw pepitas (or pecans)
- 3 to 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon real maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the squash and scrape off any tough bits of skin with a knife. Slice the squash into ½-inch wide rounds. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from each round. Drizzle the squash with a generous tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Use your fingers to lightly coat all surfaces of the squash with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender and golden, flipping halfway.
- In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas (or pecans), stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and lightly golden on the edges. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Once the squash has had a few minutes to cool, combine the arugula, pomegranate (or dried fruit), pepitas (or pecans), crumbled feta and squash in a serving bowl. Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Serve immediately.
- Yields 4 substantial side salads or up to 8 small servings.
- To make this recipe vegan, skip the feta or serve it on the side.