Kitchen Quickie: I died and went to Rouge Salad

Back in college, Mike worked at the swanky and marvelous restaurant Rouge on Rittenhouse Square. Mike learned so much about food and I got to partake in amazing, gourmet meals. One of my favorite dishes: the Bibb and Endive salad. This salad was topped with crunchy, spicy cashews and creamy roquefort cheese. It is simple and yet tastes complex and well, to quote Lily, “fancy!”


My version of this salad pulls together in less than 5 minutes! It is a quick and sophisticated side dish–perfect for Fall meals and for company. Instead of cashews, I use pre-packaged sweet and spicy pecans from Trader Joes. I love these pecans–they retail for $3.99 in South Jersey and really add a wow to the salad. You can find various sweet/spicy nuts at your local grocery store if there is not a Trader Joes nearby.


Ingredients:
  • Spring Mix (I love the versions of pre-bagged spring mix that include fresh herbs. Trader Joes has a version as does Earth’s Best Organic)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sweet and Spicy Pecans (from Trader Joes or substitute something you find locally!)
  • Gorgonzola cheese (or you can use plain jane bleu cheese. Not a fan of the bleus, try feta)
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette or, if you want to be super fancy, truffle oil and balsamic vinegar

Pile a generous handful of Spring Mix onto your salad plate. Top with a sprinkling of cranberries, pecans and cheese. Drizzle about 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette on top OR drizzle with truffle oil and balsamic vinegar. Salt/Pepper to taste.

Pattypan Squash and Zucchini butter bake

The thing I love most about squash is the variety. There are hundreds of varieties. My first favorite has always been acorn squash–cut in half and baked with butter, salt and pepper, until it melts. Or butternut squash roasted and made into a smooth, hearty soup. And then there is spaghetti squash–which is divine when prepared like pasta.
My new farmer’s market find is the Pattypan squash. I’ve seen this little summer squashes before the grocery store–typically about an inch in diameter. The pattypan squash I found was gigantic in comparison; about 5 inches across. It sat in my refrigerator while I obsessed about what to do with it. One crazy Wednesday night (Lily has horseback riding and then I teach), I came up with this delicious butter bake as a side dish for vegetarian sloppy joes (Morning Star crumbles plus sloppy joe sauce).
This recipe is so easy and the squash melts like butter in your mouth. Feel free to substitute any summer squash and to use whatever herbs you have on hand.
The goods:
1 medium to large Patty pan Squash or a handful of small patty pan squash, sliced thin
1 small zucchini, sliced thin
4 tablespoons ghee or melted butter
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
kosher salt

black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh herbs–parsley, chives, basil and cilantro
The cooking:
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a baking dish, begin layering as follows:
Pattypan & Zucchini, (to cover the bottom of the pan)
a sprinkle of garlic
a tablespoon of herbs
a tablespoon-ish of butter
Keep layering and top with any remaining butter.
Bake for 20 minutes (or until soft and buttery).