Butternut Squash Salad and Soup

Say Hello to Bella! She’s one of my parents’ new pups. My parents adopted Bella and her sister, Gracie, a couple weekends ago. I haven’t EVER seen my Dad giggle so much. 🙂 Ralfie and Tobie had the joy of spending a week at their house while I went on a business trip to Pittsburgh. Ralfie was the best cousin! He was really good with the girls.
Tobie was scared to death of them! He spent most of his time on the couch or ottoman where the girls couldn’t get to him.
Here’s Mr Ralfie making sure the girls are playing nice. Bella just loves cuddling up in that lion neck pillow that my mom found. Ralfie was a little nervous about the girls playing with his bear or his bone, but other than that he made a very good cousin!

And Mr. Ralfie again after his haircut yesterday. Tried to get a pic of Tobie but it didn’t turn out. Darn!

And now on to dinner. I made this Butternut Squash Salad last night. There are a few suggestions I have for making it better. As is, it was ok. I learned something– Butternut squash is MUCH easier to peel once its cooked!
I served it along side a grilled chicken breast with a bit of blue cheese crumbles.

Interesting flavor combo! Here’s the recipe:
Cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out all the seeds. Cut the ‘Bowl’ part off of the top part. Then cut into 1″x1″ strips. Put these in a pot and add just enough chicken stock/broth to cover. Add 1/2 of a chopped onion. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the squash from the liquid (but save the liquid!) and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel and cut the squash into bite-size pieces. Save 2 cups for the salad and add the rest back to the broth. The squash should be just underdone.
For the dressing, whisk together 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1-1/2 Tbsp apple juice or apple butter, 1 Tbsp canola oil, 1/2 tsp dried parsley or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley and 1/4c chopped red onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand for about 10 minutes. I used dried parsley but I think fresh chopped parsley would have been much better.
Add the cooked squash pieces and toss. Serve with grilled chicken and blue cheese. Blue cheese would make a GREAT addition to this salad, along with dried cranberries and toasted sliced pecans. Yum!
As for the rest of that squash in the pot, make soup! Let it simmer another 5-7 minutes, then remove from the heat and zip with an immersion blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and whatever spices you have around. Curry is nice, fresh rosemary would be good. This makes a silky flavorful soup! I think I’ll use a few Tbsp of pumpkin butter in mine. Yum!

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