HomeRecipesRecipesMeatPorkFall Blossom Bibb SaladBourbon Maple Delicata Squash ~ Red PearsPancetta ~ Cypress Grove Goat CheeseDried Cranberries ~ Roasted PecansFresh Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Fall Bibb Blossom Salad
Bourbon Maple Delicata Squash ~ Red Pears
Pancetta ~ Cypress Grove Goat Cheese
Dried Cranberries ~ Roasted Pecans
Fresh Apple Cider Vinaigrette
A bounty of fall loveliness! It’s a whole head of Bibb lettuce (with the root stem still attached) opened to expose hidden pockets to fill with fall goodies. It’s a combination of sweet, salty, tart, creamy and toasted ingredients. The dressing that tops it all off is made with fresh apple cider, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and thyme.
It’s perfect for a casual luncheon or dinner. It’s pretty enough for a special occasion if everyone is game to dig in and share. Set the platter in the middle of the table and let your guests cut right into it and serve themselves. I used one large head of lettuce, but you could make a beautiful display with 2 or 3 smaller heads.
Delicata squash is perfect for this salad and, in fact, just about the most perfect squash there is. Its size is manageable. Its skin is edible, no tackling that tough outer skin wishing you had a machete rather than your sharp kitchen knife. Its flavor is like butternut squash. And, it’s so pretty. I cut them into half rings, but you could do whole rings or chunks.
You can do the mixing, roasting, toasting and sautéing ahead of time or even the day before. Assemble and keep chilled till it’s time to serve. The flowers of summer may be slowly fading outside but this salad will be blooming on your dining table.
The toppings I used are only a suggestion. The possibilities are endless:
Cobb Style Salad: Chicken, Avocado, Hard Boiled Eggs, Bacon, Blue Cheese
Very Berry Salad: Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Nuts, Goat Cheese
Mexican Salad: Shredded Chicken or Ground Beef, Monterey Jack Cheese, Black Beans, Corn, Avocado, Red Onion Rings, Tomato
Fall Blossom Bibb SaladBourbon Maple Delicata Squash ~ Red PearsPancetta ~ Cypress Grove Goat CheeseDried Cranberries ~ Roasted PecansFresh Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Combine ingredients. Whisk to emulsify the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve (whisking again to ensure dressing is emulsified). Can be done a couple days in advance.
ROASTED MAPLE BOURBON DELICATA SQUASH
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
Cut the squash into quarters and remove seed with spoon or melon baller. Slice each quarter into ¼ - ½ inch slices.
In a medium size bowl, toss the squash with the maple syrup mixture. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray foil with cooking spray. Place squash on baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip squash pieces, rearranging for even cooking. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until squash is lightly golden. Set to the side or refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble.
In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta for 7-8 minutes or until crisp and fat is rendered. Drain on paper towel. Can be done a day ahead.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5 minutes. Set to the side. Can be done a day ahead.
PREPPING THE BIBB LETTUCE
Trim the root close to lettuce leaves. Rinse thoroughly under cold water. Spin salad in a salad spinner or drain upside down in a colander. Pat dry with paper towel. Gently fold down the leaves starting with the outer leaves and making your way toward the center leaves. Place on a large platter.
ASSEMBLING THE SALAD
Start by placing the squash and pears in the lettuce. Be sure to get ingredients between the leaves.
Do the same with the pecans, pancetta, dried cranberries and goat cheese. Be sure to tuck some of the fall goodies deep inside the Blooming Bib lettuce. Drizzle some of the salad dressing over the salad and serve the remaining dressing on the side.
*You can leave the salad undressed and let your guests add the dressing at the table.
Place the salad in the middle of your dining table. Have a spatula and knife available to let your guests serve themselves from you Fall Blossom Salad.