A Salad and A Butternut Squash

The problem I was having with uploading my photos to my 12/10/12 post was a WordPress glitch. Happy to say it is now resolved.

Thanks to all for the help and suggestions. You are a wonderful bunch.

∞ ∞ ∞

Harvested quite a bit of lettuce from the 3 windowboxes (will post about the experience on Monday, 12/17/12) and made the salad below. The fuyu persimmons (to learn more click here and here) complimented the chicory (from my garden) very well. The avocado did nothing to enhance the salad, will skip next time. Loved the crunch the toasted walnuts brought to the dish. Because the lettuces were so fresh, I decided to go simple, S&P to taste, balsamic vinegar and oil, that’s it. Of course you can use your favorite dressing instead.

Add some precooked (leftover) meat, poultry or seafood and its a meal. Oh, don’t forget some crusty bread slathered with butter.

DSC04573editp copy

Windowbox Lettuces, Chicory & Persimmons Salad
(no measurement needed for this recipe, whatever quantity you use is fine)

DSC04570editp copyIngredients
Lettuce, break into bite-sized pieces
Chicory, cut into thin strips
Fuyu persimmons, peel, cut into about 1-inch cubes or thin slices
Avocado, cut into bout 1-inch cubes
Toasted walnuts or nuts of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Toss all the above together and enjoy.

The following recipe was written and made in November but I forgot to post. Thought you may enjoy a different way to prepare butternut squash so am posting now.

DSC02358editp copySome may recall my butternut squash from my 11/9/12 post. The squash weighed 4+ pounds and I used only 1½ pounds. What to do with the remainder? Had many ideas. Decided to settle on butternut squash with Chinese fermented black beans. It is easy and quick, the most difficult and time consuming part was peeling the squash.

This dish freezes well.

To learn about Chinese fermented black beans, photo above, click here and scroll down.

Butternut Squash with Chinese Fermented Black Beans

1½ – 2 pounds peeled (about 2½ pounds unpeeled) butternut squash cut into about 1 inch cubes
1 – 2 tablespoons minced shallots (scallion, leeks and onion will work well too)
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 2 tablespoons Chinese fermented black beans, rinsed or 2 – 3 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce (I do not mince my black beans, they will breakup during cooking)
1 – 2 teaspoons grated/minced ginger (I used slices from my ginger wine and removed the slices before serving, my kids preferred it this way when they were younger)
2 tablespoons ginger wine or pale dry sherry
2 tablespoon soy sauce, regular or gluten free
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup, optional
1 – 2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 – 3 teaspoons toasted black and white sesame seeds
sliced scallion and cilantro for garnish

1. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok or frying pan, add shallots, garlic, fermented black beans and ginger. Stir-fry over medium heat until fragrant.
2. Add squash, stir-fry to coat well with mixture in wok/frying pan. Add ginger wine, stir-fry until wine is absorbed. Add soy sauce and honey/maple syrup (if using). Mix well.
3. Cover and simmer until squash is soft, 10 – 15 minutes, adding 1 -2 tablespoons liquid (broth, water, wine) if needed to prevent burning. Stir in sesame oil
4. Remove to serving dish. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallion/cilantro. (I ran out of sesame seeds, and forgot to replenish, could not garnish, horrors!!!!! But I found a mum under the shrubs and that brightened the dish and made me smile.)

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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40 Responses to A Salad and A Butternut Squash

  1. Daphne says:

    I’ve never used fermented black beans in anything except shrimp with lobster sauce. It really makes me wonder what it will be like with squash. I’ll have to try it.

  2. Patsy says:

    I can’t wait to hear more about your window box lettuce! Have had to resort to buying lettuce this week and I miss my own, especially when I see the price of good lettuce at the store. Your butternut squash recipe looks delicious!

  3. cocomino says:

    yummy We can get Chinese ingredient easily at super markets It’s worth to try it 🙂

  4. Both salad and fermented black bean flavoured butternut are very delicious.

  5. Eva Taylor says:

    This time of year when we are over indulging at almost every meal, it’s nice to have a salad that can be a meal in itself. I’ve enjoyed Persimmons before but never thought to put them into a salad, great idea Norma. The salad is a beautiful combination of flavours and textures. Makes me wish we were dining at home tonight…reservations at a friend’s restaurant (had to wait two weeks to get in!)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      How was the meal at your friend’s restaurant?
      Fuyu Persimmons and blue cheese goes very well together, well for me it does. I have to plant more chicory next year and the red rib dandelions too.

  6. Both dishes look so wonderfully fresh. I saw a few persimmons in the grocery store the other day and I didnt’ have the courage to buy them. Your salad looks so healthy and yummy.. I hope the persimmons are still there:) xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      There are 2 kinds of persimmons at the food market, get the Fuyu persimmons (they are the flat ones) for salad. Check out my 2 ppersimmons posts to learn more.

  7. I love that you grow lettuce in window boxes! What a wonderful idea. I’ve been throwing in fuyu slices in my salad too – it makes such a great contrast in color and texture. And I’ve never tried fermented beans! I’ve added this to my list of must-tries 🙂

  8. The salad looks delicious and healthy. After indulging in several sweets, I’m craving a good salad. Thanks!!

  9. That is a beautiful salad.

  10. Your salad is such a delicious mix of ingredients 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve never thought to add persimmons to a salad, Norma. I bet they not only taste good but they’d add such a nice burst of color to the salad. Those window boxes of yours sure are working out well, at least when it comes to lettuce. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Add the Fuyu persimmons to salad not the hachiya. I love combining Fuyu and blue cheese too.
      Yes, I did well with my windowbox lettuces, really happy with the results. The broc and napa did not do as well but then I gained knowledge from the exercise.

  12. Delicious butternut squash and fermented black beans. A lovely warming meal. My fingers and toes have been very chilly so need some more warm spices and herbs in my diet.

  13. You have had great success with your window boxes…that is great. Your butternut squash recipe sounds wonderful.

  14. Eha says:

    What a delightful Eastern recipe so right for Western palates! Just adding bread/pita will make it a meal! Methinks i got used to using persimmons ’cause I have watched Jamie Oliver forever; well, my hands are not quite strong enough to bang out the seeds thru’ my fingers the way he so effortlessly does, but . . . 🙂 !

  15. Sammie says:

    mmmm! What great dishes!! I’m especially eyeing the butternut squash. Black beans are one of my favourites!! The combination must be so good!!

  16. Liz says:

    Hi Norma, Will they be called ‘ fermented black beans’ on the packaging? I have a tendency to buy the wrong thing whenever I’ve looked for these in the past. I love the idea of that butternut squash dish.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      The package may say “fermented black beans” or “salted black beans”. The Chinese name is “dou see” or “dou chi”. Let me know if you have any problem.

  17. Wow the salad looks great! I love anything with butternut squash. Thanks for posting!

  18. Hi Norma, the salad looks amazing and delicious!

  19. Kristy says:

    Both recipes look wonderfully flavorful Norma. The salad looks particularly refreshing – always needed this time of year! 🙂

  20. Dear Norma

    I love to cook with Chinese fermented black beans especially with pork ribs and never knew it would go well with a butternut squash. Your dish looks delicious!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Chopin,
      Oh, yes, Chinese fermented black beans goes really well with pork ribs, one of my favorite dishes. Goes really well with butternut, pumpkin and other winter squashes too do give it a try and let me know if you agree with me.

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