Recipe. You Won't Want to Miss This!
RP Autumn Salad
This salad is one that Sarah Ehrenson and I enjoyed at the Riverhead Project several years ago. They were kind enough to share their recipe with us which we think we improved upon! I took the first crack at it, when we hosted Sarah’s Mom and Dad together— it was a great time! And Sarah and I have been working on this recipe ever since—changing it up a little each time. Sarah gets credit for the revisions to the salad dressing, especially because each time I make it, I somehow need her to send the dressing ingredients to me! It’s just delicious, and perfect for a light meal after Thanksgiving leftovers are gone.
1 pound of arugula
4 oz. ricotta salata
8 – 10 oz. roasted pumpkin chunks or butternut squash chunks
½ thinly sliced small red onion (you can float the slices in ice water while you are preparing the other ingredients for a milder flavor; pat dry before adding to salad)
Extra virgin olive oil
5 oz. pepitas, toasted
¾ cup grape seed oil
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
2-3 garlic cloves crushed
Chili oil to taste
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp. toasted pepitas
Coat pumpkin or butternut squash chunks with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and roast for 45 minutes at 350 – 375 degrees (350 for convection), check them—they should be soft but still firm. Set aside to cool.
Spread pepitas on a cookie sheet and toast/roast at 375 degrees for 5+ minutes. As soon as you smell them, it’s time to take them out. It will be less than 10 minutes. Reserve 3 tbsp. for salad dressing.
Mix dressing ingredients in blender until smooth. You will likely have dressing left over, and it stays well in the refrigerator for at least a week.
In a large bowl, layer arugula, then cooled pumpkin/squash chunks, red onion slices, and sliced ricotta salata. Add half the dressing and toss lightly. Continue to add dressing by the tablespoon until you get the desired coating. The cheese will break into pieces when you toss together.
Divide among salad plates and sprinkle the toasted pepitas generously over each.