Editor's note: Philadelphia food writers Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond drop by each week with Meat Lite, which celebrates meat in moderation. Meat Lite was inspired by the book coauthored by the two, Almost Meatless, due out in spring.
In the summer, I eat a huge fresh salad once or twice a week thanks to the mountains of crisp, fresh lettuce I get in my CSA box. But in the winter, I'm afraid salads usually go the way of sweet corn and peaches. This year, I refuse to acquiesce to a salad-less season. This week's Meat Lite combines a huge pile of seasonal veggies (Brussels sprouts and butternut squash) with savory year-round staples to get a healthy, hearty, and warm salad perfect for these cold weather months.
- For the salad:
- 6 slices of thick multigrain bread, cubed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds and strings removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- For the dressing:
- 2 large shallots, sliced as thin as possible on a madoline or the grating disc of a food processor
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Romano cheese, for serving
- 1/4 pound sliced prosciutto, cut into 1-inch wide ribbons
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the bread cubes with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Toss the squash, Brussels sprouts, dried sage, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, and arrange on a second rimmed baking sheet.
Put both baking sheets in the oven, removing the bread cubes after 10 minutes and the vegetables when they are beginning to caramelize, after about 15 minutes.
While the bread and vegetables are in the oven, combine the shallots, vinegar olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside.
Combine the bread cubes, roasted vegetables and dressing in a large bowl. Mix well, place in shallow salad bowls, top each portion with 1/4 of the prosciutto ribbons and pass grated cheese at the table.