Yes, spinach can often be found in November in Wisconsin—from enterprising local farmers with hoop houses! Lucky for us, because a fresh green salad provides great taste and texture contrast to all of the heavier dishes traditionally around the Thanksgiving table. I could write a whole post on pumpkin seeds here; there are many, many options. So to keep this short—if you don’t have a Kakai Pumpkin on hand (which is especially grown for its delicious hull-less seeds and which I did find recently at Highcross Farm’s farmer’s market stand) why don’t you just toast up the seeds of any pumpkin or squash you happen to have on hand. This salad, like all the other recipes I share, is open to interpretation—use any fresh green you like, any nut, add dried cranberries or fresh cut apples or pears for a bit sweet, try goat chevre instead of blue cheese, use your own dressing…be creative with what you have and enjoy! Serves 6-8 people as a side dish.
- Fresh Spinach ~ 6-8 cups washed & dried
- Red or Golden Beet ~ 2 roasted with skin on until fork tender
- Pumpkin Seeds ~ half of a cup toasted and chopped
- Wisconsin Blue Cheese ~ 4 ounces, crumbled
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil ~ ¼ cup
- Apple cider vinegar ~ 2 tablespoons
- Dark Mustard ~ 1 tablespoon
- Maple syrup ~ 1 tablespoon
- Salt ~ just a dash
When you’re done roasting the beets (throw them in the oven for an hour or so when you’ve got something else in there, or roast up a bunch at once—it’s an easy, great way to prepare them) and they’ve cooled, peel off the skin with your fingers (should come off easily) and slice into rounds about a quarter of an inch think. Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and salt together in a large bowl. If spinach is very large, tear into smaller pieces and toss with dressing. Layer beets in an open circle on a large plate, and pile the dressed spinach in the center. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds and the blue cheese over the top.
Have you tried it? Tell me what you think.