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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gigi Barbina Salad

(Photo stolen from

This recipe was sent to me by my mother-in-law, who saw it in the Oprah Magazine. I took the original and replaced canola oil with olive and eliminated the cheese to give it an easy primal makeover:

4 beets, 2- to 3-inches
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1" pieces
6 TB extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound mixed mushrooms
(tough stems removed), halved or quartered
2 TB mayonnaise (The real stuff!)
2 TB sherry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small shallot ,
coarsely chopped
1/2 pound mixed baby greens
1/3 cup chopped walnuts ,

Note: If using a mix of beets, you can prevent colors from bleeding by roasting them in separate foil pouches; then peel and reserve separately.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Wrap beets tightly in foil, and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; let rest 10 minutes. Unwrap foil. Peel and cut beets into bite-size pieces; set aside.

Toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste; spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast, tossing halfway through, until tender and golden, about 30 minutes. Repeat process with mushrooms, roasting about 15 minutes. Set both aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Put mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and shallot in a food processor. Pulse to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in rest of olive oil to make a puree; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide vegetables among four plates. Toss greens with vinaigrette, then arrange on top; sprinkle with nuts.

Recipe variations:
Replace squash with…
Spring: Roasted sugar snap peas, snow peas, or asparagus.
Summer: Blanched or roasted green beans.
Fall/winter: Sweet potatoes; also can scatter pomegranate seeds on top.

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