Turkey Day is nearly here. Still stuck on what to serve alongside that bird? Chef Jason McClure, known for infusing Pacific Northwest cuisine with a little Southern flair at Sazerac restaurant in Seattle, gave us a recipe for a tasteful side dish.
His warm salad of roasted squash, cured ham, and olives can substitute the typical mashed potatoes and stuffing, or stand in colorful accompaniment to them.
“I thoroughly enjoy cooking during the holidays,” chef Jason says. “It’s the time when two of my favorite things come together: a love for food culture and time spent with family. There really is nothing better.”
So true, chef. And we can think of one other great thing about Thanksgiving … the leftovers!
Warm Salad of Roasted Squash, Cured Ham, and Olives
16 very thin slices of prosciutto or other high quality ham
½ lb. arugula, watercress or mizuna
1 butternut squash (peeled and sliced into wedges)
1 tbsp. coarse salt
1 tbsp. cracked black pepper
½ tbsp. toasted cracked fennel seed
½ tbsp. toasted cracked coriander seed
1 tsp. celery seed
½ tbsp. red chile flakes
1 cup oil cured olives (or your favorite olives)
1 small wedge of aged, hard cheese (parmesan, manchego or dry jack)
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Divide and lay out ham among four large plates. Set aside.
2. Mix together all spices.
3. Toss squash with olive oil and as much of the spice mix as you like.
4. Place squash on a lined sheet pan and roast at 450 degrees until squash is beginning to caramelize and is soft all the way through when pricked with a fork.
5. Tear the squash into bite-sized pieces and drop the pieces randomly on top of each plate of ham.
6. Sprinkle plates with arugula and olives.
7. Drizzle each plate with a healthy tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
8. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some of the hard cheese over each plate.
Taste chef Jason McClure’s cuisine at Sazerac, 1104 Fourth Avenue in Seattle. For more info, call 206-624-7755 or visit sazeracrestaurant.com.