Autumn Squash Confetti Pasta Salad w/ Almond Butter Dressing + J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works Friendsgiving Virtual Potluck (Giveaway Closed)
Friendsgiving def. A gathering of friends in lieu of or in addition to a family Thanksgiving. A joining together of the community to say thanks. Often before or after the Thanksgiving holiday itself.
Somehow we pulled off a grown-up dinner party in our little house with not-much furniture and it felt cozy and dare I say lovely? Lovely. Angel (my BFF and now roommate!!!) thrifted a long, low bench which we used as a table. We used a gauzy white curtain as a tablecloth. Hand-me-down porcelain tea cups and old beakers became vases for flowers. Our kitchen work-cart became a bar cart. We set out a cheese plate on one of our wooden serving boards: chèvre, raw cheddar, and a hard manchego set out with a tin of macadamia nuts, honey with lavender flowers, and honey with fresh rosemary. With gluten free and reg crackers. Even though Byrd man and I aren't super into cheese (allergies), there aint nothing that makes a crowd as happy at a party as a freakin' cheese plate. And thank God for wedding registries because until a couple of days ago we didn't have enough plates or bowls to feed a crowd simultaneously.
We set it up potluck style. And everyone pulled through with great dishes. We had lots of left-overs (what's Thanksgiving without leftovers?!). Somehow we managed to make everything gluten-free, without talking about it before hand. And mostly dairy-free!!! (A sign that your friends like you a lot).
I have concluded that Friendsgiving is amazing. And a damn fine way to tell your friends that you love them.
Which brings me to my next point: today is a great day in the blogosphere. A gaggle of great bloggers have agreed to take part in a virtual Friendsgiving potluck with me, sponsored by the wonderful J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works based out of West Virginia. I really can't say enough nice things about J. Q. D. Salt. Their sun-dried sea salt, sourced from an ancient ocean that flows beneath the WV Appalachian mountains, has transformed my cooking. I really love salt, that's not a secret. I pretty much eat little pinches of this salt as I'm hanging around my kitchen (it's lower in sodium than most salt so I feel pretty good about this habit). I discovered it through my friend Lauren Stonestreet, who did a lot of J. Q. Dickinson's branding photography. Once I tried it I was sold FOR LIFE. There's really no comparison.
As part of Friendsgiving with J. Q. Dickinson Salt I'm going to be running giveaways for their salt all week! One giveaway a day -- each winner will receive a small jar of this awesome salt (a little lasts a long way!) in a pretty burlap bag plus a mini cherry wood salt cellar, sent from yours truly. Some of you might get a gift from me too!
Part of what makes this sponsored Friendsgiving so wonderful was getting to share this salt with a very special community of bloggers. Folks that I've befriended through the power of the interwebs and folks who I've admired from afar for a long time. I really hope you enjoy their wonderful, salty recipes. A handful of the posts are going up today, lots will be up tomorrow, and there shall be more to come throughout the week! So check back all week for new recipes from me and more links to salted recipes from badass bloggettes.
Look out for Recipes coming up this week from from these babes!
The Bojon Gourmet | Bread and Barrow | Broad Appetite | Dolly and Oatmeal | Dunk & Crumble | Earthy Feast | Ginger and Toasted Sesame | Glazed and Confused | Hummingbird High | Lexi's Clean Kitchen | London Bakes |Mabel and the Wooden Spoon |One Part Plant (i.e. jessicamurnane.com) | The Pancake Princess
Fall Confetti Pasta Salad w/ Almond Butter Dressing (for a crowd) -- Gluten Free, Vegan
Renee Shuman (Will Frolic for Food)
- 1 medium kabocha squash, scraped of its seeds and chopped into 1" pieces
- olive oil & salt
- 1 large pomegranate
- 16 oz gluten free brown rice spirals + olive oil
- 1 lb lacinato kale, destemmed and chopped roughly
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 large fuyu persimmon, cored and chopped into thin 2" long sticks
- 1/2 cup almond butter (creamy, unsalted)
- 1/4" fresh ginger, peeled & minced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon unfiltered honey (or agave)
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- pinch cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt, plus more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease with coconut oil).
- Toss the kabocha with a generous douse of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast for 25 minutes on the middle rack, until the kabocha is tender and beginning to brown at the edges. Set aside to let the squash cool completely.
- While the squash is roasting, quarter the pomegranate and remove the seeds in a bowl of water. Drain and set aside.
- Make your pasta according to package instructions (I always add a heaping teaspoon of salt to the water, tho). Drain (toss with olive oil!) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, massage the chopped lacinato kale with olive oil and white wine vinegar. Massage for at least 2 minutes. This helps break down the fiber in the leaves and makes it more pleasant to eat raw, and more digestible.
- Add your kabocha squash, pasta, and persimmon to the bowl of massaged kale. Toss around gently.
- For the dressing, you'll need to use a blender of some sort -- either a hand-held blender or an upright blender like a Vitamix or Nutribullet. Add your almond butter, ginger, white wine vinegar, honey, garlic, coconut milk, water, and cayenne, and salt to the bowl you'll be blending in. Blend on high for 1 minute.
- Pour the dressing into a pretty serving dish, or -- if you're serving the salad immediately -- pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine. To serve, transfer the salad to a pretty bowl or serving plate and top with the pomegranate seeds. Alternately, you can mix the pom seeds in with everything before serving -- but they look so beautiful on top, why would you?!