November Salad

Two weeks ago, my friend Susannah Felts gave me the most sparse Pantry Raid answer I have received yet: pumpkin puree, breadcrumbs. And as I was typing out my reply, I knew I was sold on my own idea. I had to make this salad. Two other friends made it before me and confirmed my suspicion: it’s excellent.

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I took one cup winter squash puree- butternut to be specific- and put it in a blender with about 1/2 cup tahini, 1T water, the juice of a meyer lemon, roughly 2t honey and plenty of salt. That’s what the salad will sit on top of, but you can also throw in something with a kick to make turn it into a great crudite dip. It’s so sweet and creamy, you really can’t get enough acid or salt or crunch on top of it. So I tossed arugula in the juice of a regular lemon with a splash of olive oil, then added generous fistfuls of lightly toasted, salted pumpkin seeds and shavings of Sequatchie Cove Creamery Gruteli (parmesan or feta would do nicely too). Finally, and this is really the best part, I finished it all off with sourdough breadcrumbs crisped in a pan with plenty of salted butter.

It’s a salad easy enough to brighten up a dreary weekday lunch and stunning enough to bring to a Thanksgiving potluck.