Friday, November 6, 2009

Food Dreams

"Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men
 a creative power, which if it were available in waking, 
would make every man a Dante or a Shakespeare." 
~H.F. Hedge

Sometimes, just as I'm falling asleep, strange recipes come to me. 
Last night I came up with Soft Square Salad

The idea is to combine cubed, roasted butternut squash, still warm...

...with fresh cubed peach-flesh...

...ripe, cubed avocado...

...and cubes of some sort of soft, nutty cheese -- like fontina or livarot.
(My sleep-brain seemed to think that if you heated a very lightly oiled pan
to medium-high, tossed a bunch of cheese cubes into it, and immediately
took it off the heat and let it cool completely, they'd come away easily 
and you'd get cheese cubes with one side deliciously brown and crunchy. 
Dunno if that's true, but it sounds friggin awesome, and perfect for this recipe.)

Season with salt and pepper, naturally, then add 
some toasted pine nuts and diced bell pepper for crunch.

Finally, drizzle with some warm, homemade vinaigrette -- which I envisioned would consist of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, some reduced cherry/redcurrant/cranberry preserves, juice from a roasted onion, a hint of cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and cayenne, and a fresh chopped herb -- my sleep-brain said sage, but now I'm thinking oregano.

Toss all ingredients gently so as not to damage Soft Squares, 
and serve warmover grilled salmon. Obviously, this would be a stunner, 
visually.But the flavor combo? I can't decide if it would be absolutely 
delicious or just plain weird. I guess I'll have to try it someday.


  1. Hmm. This post made my mouth water. I'm not sure if it would be weird or not, either. Something about the butternut squash and the peaches sounded funny, but your pictures have me almost convinced it would be delicious.

    Since I looked at that photograzer website, I've been craving roasted butternut squash with pinenuts! Of course, they were out of butternut at Fred Meyers. But thank goodness, we finally got some ripe pears! You have an inspiring palate, Annieface.

  2. Funny, because I had no problem with the squash/peach combo (the cumin and cinnamon would marry them well, methinks) but the avocado seemed a puh-ritty weird companion for either of them. Then again, in the presence of more robust flavors, avocado might just fade into the background, contributing only its fatty, luxurious texture and fresh color.

    Oh, fresh pears! I saw your gorgonzola/pear snack. Dude, cheese is awesome. I don't like to eat it often, but man, it really has its place.