For the chef series at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Jenny Levison, aka Souper Jenny served this ginger maple dressing on top of roasted Delicata squash, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, blu cheese and greens. I enjoyed the salad so much I made it tonight for my family and my daughter actually ate salad. She did say it was spicy so if you are trying to get your kids to eat this you may want to cut back on the ginger. It does have a kick.
The dressing is amazingly simple to make and pairs well with all the fall vegetables in this salad. I actually had Brie on my salad since I am not a fan of blu cheese. You can use goat or any other soft cheese. The cheese does meld all the flavors together and tone down the ginger so get a good one. I choose a French Brie since Europeans tend to use grass fed milk more than here in the States. None of the Bries said they used pasture milk.
Soon I will post some of the soups Jenny made for us last night. She gave us some helpful tips on how to make a hearty soup, what not to add to make the soup last longer, and recommended throwing in a parmesan rind to provide richness to the broth. If you live in Atlanta, you really should try her soup creations at Souper Jenny on East Andrews or fresh panini’s and salads at Cafe Jonah around the corner.
Directions for the Salad Dressing
1) Cut off a finger of ginger and peel the skin with a paring knife or spoon. The potency of ginger can vary drastically from plant to plant. I recommend adding half of the finger at first and taste the dressing to see if more is needed. I used a huge piece and could have used less.
2) Remove the skin on one or two large garlic cloves or several small cloves. I like to use a lot of garlic during the winter months to boost my immune system and fight off all the super bugs out there right now. Add as much as you can so you can stay healthy too!
3) Place the ginger, garlic, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a Vitamix or your blender. Purée until smooth.
4) Use immediately or store in the refrigerator. Weck jars work really well.
Directions For the Salad
1) Wash the Delicata Squash and cut lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Chop the squash into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle some Hand-harvested Fleur De Sel Sea Salt over the slices and drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup for sweetness. Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or so until your fork easily goes through the squash.
Note: The skin has a ton of vitamins so do not peel the squash. Make sure you buy organic so the skin does not have as many pesticides.
2) Wash the greens and place in a large bowl. Add the squash slices, some dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, and soft cheese and drizzle the dressing on top then toss.
3) Plate the salad and enjoy!
Why You Want to Eat This!
- Ginger boosts your immune system and alleviates gastrointestinal problems, motion sickness and nausea. Ginger has potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols and may help with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as people with other conditions related to inflammation in the body. Studies are looking into ginger decreasing ovarian and colorectal cancer cells.
- Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial and antiviral benefits, may boost your immune system, improve your iron metabolism, has cardiovascular benefits, and lower your risk of cancer.
- Delicata Squash is rich in vitamin A, C, fiber, manganese, B6, potassium, and K. It is a good source of folate, tyrptophan, copper, B2, omega-3 fats, and magnesium. The fruit provides the antioxidants alpha-carotene and beta-carotene and has anti-inflammatory benefits. It may regulate blood sugar levels and prevent cancer. Specifically prostate, colon, breast, and lung cancer. read more
- Pumpkin Seeds may help with bone and prostate health (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia also known as BPH) as well as lower cholesterol. Studies in animals have shown pumpkin oil improves insulin regulation and decreases oxidative stress. Decreasing oxidative stress helps prevent cancer. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosporhorus, copper, protein and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol, and gamma-tocomonoenol)
- Cranberries are rich in Vitamin C and fiber a well as many phytonutrients (phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, flavonoids, triterpenoids) which reduces inflammation and has anti-cancer properties. Cranberries protect against Urinary Tract Infections and has cardiovascular benefits.