A Festive Cocktail and Side Dish For Your Holiday Feast
The season of eating has officially begin, and very likely you'll be feasting with friends or family come this Thursday. Whether you're playing hostess or heading to another homestead for the holiday, you can impress guests with these festive offerings. First is a roasted kabocha and radicchio salad, which perfectly balances sweet and bitter flavor profiles. I love this type of squash (particularly the red kind, also called red curry squash) because its a bit denser and creamier than butternut. You can also eat the skin! This salad is also totally Instagram-worthy with its autumnal colors.
As for the cocktail, Aperol sprtiz is a classic Italian aperitif, which means it's great to stimulate your appetite. Serve while putting the finishing touches on your table, before you sit down to stuff your face and — likely — enjoy a few glasses of vino.
Roasted Kabocha and Radicchio Salad
- 1 medium red kabocha (aka red curry squash), cut into slices — skin on!
- 1 tbs curry powder
- 1 small head radicchio, left in whole leaves
- handful toasted pumpkin seeds
- handful slice, pitted dates (barhi are my fave, but any dates will do)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- pinch salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut kabocha into 1/2" slices, scraping out the seeds. Leave the skin on! It's totally edible and gets crisp and delicious when you roast it. Toss in a bowl with about two tablespoons of olive oil, the curry powder, and a healthy sprinkling of salt. Lay all the slices flat on a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes or until both sides are slightly golden (you'll need to flip them).
Rinse the radicchio leaves. If they're larger than palm-size, slice in half lengthwise. Otherwise just leave them whole. Place on a paper towel to dry. Meanwhile whisk together the olive oil and apple cider vinegar in a large (and photo-worthy) salad bowl with a pinch of salt. Taste the dressing and adjust as needed before adding the radicchio, pumpkin seeds, sliced dates, and squash. I like to do this when the squash is still slightly warm, so it wilts the lettuce lightly and makes it more palatable. Toss evenly so all the goodies are visible. Enjoy!
- 1.5 ounces Aperol
- 2 ounces sparkling wine (like Prosecco)
In a wine glass filled 3/4 full of ice, add Aperol (about a shot's worth) and top with Prosecco or your choice of bubbles. Traditionally, this drink gets a splash of sparkling water but I say, why dilute it? Just garnish with a slice of orange and, if you've got it, a cranberry. Now just cheers, sip, and get ready to feast.
Stunning florals, tablescape, turkey, and cocktail provided by Heather Williams of Twig & Twine. Having dinner with a florist really has its perks!