I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving dinner is probably my very favorite of all holiday meals. There is not a single dish traditionally served on Thanksgiving that I do not like. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce…you name it and I guarantee you’ll find it on my plate. If your family is like mine, then you probably split up the recipe duties – and when you’re cooking for 20 people, that is probably a welcome relief to the head chef. Someone handles the preparation of the perfect turkey, while another makes the sweet potato casserole and so on. But it can sometimes be difficult to come up with just the right dish to compliment a smorgasbord of other holiday recipes. So if you are racking your brain on what to take over the river and through the woods to the grandmothers house this Thanksgiving, I have one word of advice: go local. There is nothing better than a delicious dish made from fresh, local ingredients. And despite the fact that we are now in the colder months when local produce isn’t as readily available, you sill have options, like butternut squash. This veggie is the perfect way to incorporate a fresh, local ingredient into your Thanksgiving meal. Not sure how to prepare it? Check out this recipe courtesy of our local agricultural initiative Buy Haywood and Chef Jackie Blevins of Perfectly Seasoned.
This recipe for Butternut Squash Salad combines the freshest seasonal ingredients with a smoky Dijon vinaigrette to create a savory “Farm to Table” dish. It is a fusion of farm fresh flavors that can be modified and served over pasta or shines on its own.
Try incorporating this truly UNIQUELY LOCAL recipe into your Thanksgiving routine for an unforgettable family favorite.
Butternut Squash Salad with Smoky Dijon Vinaigrette
(Courtesy of Chef Jackie Blevins of Perfectly Seasoned)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and ¾ inch diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 apples, thinly sliced or julienned
¼ cup dried cranberries, blueberries or golden raisins
Salad greens – butter lettuce, arugula
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
Shaved or grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled blue cheese for garnish
STEPS OF PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place diced squash on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for 25-35 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
Toss the squash with the apples, cranberries, greens and almonds.
Drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with cheese.
SMOKY DIJON VINAIGRETTE
Whisk together 2/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard in a small bowl.
Season with salt & pepper to taste
About Buy Haywood and Chef Blevins
Can you imagine a place where farmers grow hundreds of acres of fresh produce, graze cattle, raise shrubs, trees, herbs, and bees—create dozens of value added products like Peach-Shine Jam and Gourmet Max Patch Pepper Butter—while embodying the character of a rural community? Welcome to our Haywood County!
This “farm to table” dish was created by local chef and agripreneur, Jackie Blevins of Perfectly Seasoned.
Chef Blevins embodies the true essence of the Uniquely Local—Farm to Table philosophy by sourcing seasonal ingredients from the Perfectly Seasoned garden and directly from the farms of Haywood County. Chef Blevins’ commitment to local creates a fusion of fresh and unexpected flavors that elevates her recipes to unforgettable status.
Drawing upon the oldest agricultural heritage in the Appalachian Region, agripreneurs like Chef Blevins, represent the region’s vibrant cultural and historical diversity.
Each and every uniquely local farm, grower, chef and producer in Haywood County is a reflection of our rich Appalachian heritage—rooted in cultural memory, heirloom seed saving, multi-generational farms, and a tradition of time spent at the dinner table surrounded by loved ones.
To find these and other UNIQUELY LOCAL partners in and around Haywood County,
Visit: www.buyhaywood.com or stop by a Haywood County Visitor Center to pick up your free “Find Your Adventure” Agritourism Guide that is jam packed with year-round agritourism offerings!