Recipe: Butternut squash salad from Quatrefoil, an elegant and deceptively simple appetizer
By Fraser Macfarlane
PREP TIME: 15 minutes | COOK TIME: 9 minutes
ROAST TIME: 15 minutes
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD
¼–⅓ cup canola or vegetable oil
½ butternut squash, diced into ½-inch cubes
2 cooked chorizo sausages, diced
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 small radicchio, preferably Treviso
4 fresh figs, each cut into 4 rounds
4 cups mizuna or arugula greens
Pinch of salt
½ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds (or redcurrants)
250 g fresh chèvre
1–2 tbsp 35 per cent cream
1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
2. Coat a frying pan with 1 tbsp oil and set over medium-high heat. Add squash. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until golden. Tumble onto a baking sheet. Bake in centre of oven for 15 to 20 minutes until squash is tender.
3. Place chorizo in a small frying pan set over medium heat. Cook for 6 to 10 minutes until slightly crisp. Add oil to pan as needed. Drain any oil from the chorizo into a measuring cup. Top up with canola oil to make ¼ cup. Place chorizo in a medium-sized bowl. Add sherry vinegar, honey and diced shallot. Season with salt. Whisk together. Slowly whisk in chorizo-oil mixture.
4. Cut radicchio into quarters, then cut out core. Separate leaves. Stir chèvre with cream.
5. Spread chèvre over plates just before serving, then place radicchio, greens, figs and roasted squash in a large bowl. Drizzle with just enough chorizo dressing to coat the salad. Toss to mix. Divide salad between plates. Sprinkle each dish with pistachios and pomegranate seeds or redcurrants. Drizzle a bit more chorizo vinaigrette around each plate, if you have any left over.
To release the pomegranate seeds, cut the fruit in half and smack the bottom with a spoon—it’s much easier than picking them out.
After meeting behind the stoves at the midtown institution Scaramouche, the husband-and-wife team of Fraser Macfarlane and Georgina Mitropoulos decided to ditch city life. They opened a fine dining restaurant in Mitropoulos’s hometown of Dundas, Ontario, where Macfarlane leads the kitchen and Mitropoulos runs the front of house. Quatrefoil’s small-town locale belies the elegant cooking—Macfarlane’s food is pure fine dining, showcasing seasonal ingredients and unfussy preparation and presentation. This salad is one of those deceptively simple dishes, starting with roasted squash and building on it bit by bit: a robust and slightly spicy chorizo vinaigrette; creamy and tangy chèvre; figs for sweetness; pistachios for crunch; and radicchio for a crisp, bitter finish.