Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind of day I’m talking about….
You (ok…me) wake up at the ass crack of dawn because every phone in your house is ringing simultaneously, the one phone you choose to answer is a sales call for septic tank cleaning (not something that’s commonly found when your altitude is literally 0 – do they even check those lists when they buy them). You roll out of bed to find that your UGGs have migrated to different ends of the house. While stumbling around looking for the other one, you drive your little toe into the corner of the wall, not so much out of anger regarding your non-ordered wake up call or your not so happy feeling of having one warm foot and one ice cold foot, but just because your pinky toe seems to be on in on the screw you vendetta the universe seems to be feeling towards you today. Thankfully your boots are big and roomy, because your toe is now the size of an egg. A prayer is made to the coffee Gods to find some solace. You pour out the last cold cup and nuke it for 2 minutes all while you set up the coffee maker to brew another pot (which is probably going to be consumed in about 30 minutes). Low and behold it seems that a homeless ant colony has found that the coffee maker makes a perfect apartment building for which to nest in and raise its babies. 30 minutes later, a pot of coffee is brewing. 15 minutes after that, your computer keyboard is taking a bath in warm coffee and your lap has first degree burns from the coffee tsunami spillover. An unscheduled shower is entered into and plays out with tepid water (because someone else used all the hot water for his shower) and no soap. So as not to totally waste the opportunity to wash off, you break into your insanely expensive shampoo and wash off while tallying up the bill for your cleanliness because you didn’t pay attention to the fact that you had run out of shower gel the day before.
I could continue on with my day…but I think you get the idea. Trust me, things did not really improve. About the best outcome I can list for the day is that no one had to go to the hospital and no one died.
For something much better than that hideous day, or to help you forget about that day I recommend a glass of really great red wine and this warm salad recipe.
Warm and salad aren’t usually two words that are used together, unless you’re talking about German potato salad, but maybe we should give warm salad recipes another look. Especially this time of year when the weather is a bit cooler and the last thing you want to eat is something cold.
If you think about all of these ingredients individually: pumpkin, chanterelle mushrooms, pomegranate arils and goat cheese you would never think that they would taste good mixed together. What makes it work? Crank up that oven…the secret is roasted vegetables!
I may not like pumpkin pie, but I do like cubed and roasted pumpkin (there are lots of roasted pumpkin recipes on the site to prove this). And with the rainfall we’ve been having on the West coast, we’ve been able to find lots of chanterelle mushrooms at the market. Roasting the chanterelles brings out their earthy flavors which pairs really well with the roasted pumpkin sweetness. The tart and tangy additions of pomegranate arils and goat cheese (and the creaminess of the cheese) really rounds out the dish.
The dressing for this salad combines even more pomegranate with other seasonal flavors to make a dish that’s also comforting for its taste.
This warm salad recipe is a perfect meal starter or could be used as a meatless main course.
So you are not awakened by a chorus of telephones…you wake up in a pool of sweat (which you know to be sweat and not pee because it’s covering you from head to toe) which concerns you because you have not entered menopause or you’re not a woman at all and menopause isn’t even something that you (genetically) need to be concerned with.
No, you’ve awakened to this before. This pool of sweat you are now swimming in is a result of that horrible nightmare in which you find yourself being found out, by everyone who knows you, to be nothing short of a fraud. A fake. Everything you’ve ever accomplished has been discovered to be built upon a house of lies. And you know what? It’s not just the adults that know this. Even babies can tell you’re an unreliable dolt.
Researchers divided 60 babies between 13 months and 16 months into two groups. In the first group, “unreliable” experimenters looked inside a container while expressing excitement, and invited the babies to discover whether the box contained a toy or was empty. For that group’s experiment, the box was empty. The second group had “reliable” experimenters, so when the babies copied the adults’ enthusiastic behavior and looked inside the box, they found a toy.
In a second imitation task, each baby again observed the same experimenter that they had looked at during the box exercise. This time, the adult used her forehead instead of her hands to turn on a push-on light. The experimenter then watched to see whether the infant would copyher behavior.
The results showed that 61 percent of the infants in the “reliable” group imitated the irrational behavior of using their foreheads to turn on the light. By contrast, 34 percent of infants imitated the unreliable testers who had previously deceived them during the box task.
“This shows infants will imitate behavior from a reliable adult,” study researcher Ivy Brooker of the Concordia Department of Psychology said in a statement. “In contrast, the same behavior performed by an unreliable adult is interpreted as irrational or inefficient, therefore not worth imitating.”
So while it may take the adults in your life a while to eventually figure out that you’ve been faking your way through life, the babies can tell right now.
Research via LiveScience
Recipe: Sweet Roasted Pumpkin, Chanterelle & Pomegranate Warm Salad Recipe
For the Salad
- 1 Pound Chanterelle Mushrooms (cleaned and cut into pieces)
- 1 – 1 1/2 Pound Sugar Pie Pumpkin (peeled, cleaned out and diced)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (separated)
- Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- Pomegranate Arils
- Crumbled Goat Cheese
For the Dressing
- 2 Tablespoons Pomegranate Vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1/2 Tablespoon Honey
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Pecan Oil
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the Salad
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
- Place chanterelle mushrooms on one half sheet baking pan and diced pumpkin on another half sheet pan.
- Coat mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and make sure that they are well coated (this means getting your hands messy. Get in there and mix it around.)
- Coat the pumpkin with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Same as the mushrooms, get in there with your hands and make sure everything is well coated.
- Sprinkle some kosher salt on the pumpkin and then evenly sprinkle on the thyme.
- Make sure that the mushrooms and pumpkin are evenly spaced on the sheet pans.
- Place the mushrooms on the middle rack of your oven and the pumpkin on the top rack.
- Cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Check the mushrooms. They should be a bit brown and shrunken by about 1/2 of their original size. Pull them from the oven when they look like that (they should still appear to be moist).
- Move the pumpkin down to the middle rack, mix the pumpkin around a bit, and cook for approximately 10 more minutes. When done, the pumpkin should have browning edges and pierce easily with a knife. Remove from oven.
For the Dressing
- While everything is roasting, make the dressing.
- In a small container, add the vinegar, orange juice, honey, vanilla and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Set dressing aside.
- You can plate the salad individually, or family style. I prefer family style.
- Place the mushrooms on a large plate, followed by the roasted pumpkin. Then add the pomegranate arils and goat cheese. Generously spoon the dressing over the top of the salad.
I used a gourmet goat cheese that was coated in different types of pepper. You can use whatever kind of goat cheese you like. Just remember that there are only a few ingredients in this dish, so every flavor really stands out.
To make your life easier, line the sheet pans with foil before putting the mushrooms and pumpkin on them. By doing this, your cleanup consists of pulling off the foil and throwing it away.
All the ingredients in this dish love black pepper. So make sure that you serve this salad with a pepper grinder so people can add what they like.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (General)