Honey glazed butternut, fig, pomegranate & blue cheese salad
(recipe, text & photography by Ilse van der Merwe )
Easter is around the corner and I just had the privilege of creating an Easter-inspired recipe for La Motte with their iconic 2018 Millennium - a Merlot Cabernet Franc red blend.
I immediately thought of the (also iconic) French chicken stew, coq au vin - a delightful dish made with red wine, mushrooms and onions, perfect for the cooler Autumn weather in the Boland. I served this festive coqu au vin pie with a luxurious seasonal salad of honey glazed butternut with figs, pomegranates, spinach, blue cheese and pecan nuts. The salad and the pie both pair exceptionally well with La Motte’s 2018 Millennium.
Note: the glazed butternut can be made ahead before you bake the pie. Serve at room temperature.
- 1 medium butternut, peeled and sliced into 1 cm thick slices (remove seeds)
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
- 15-30 ml (1-2 tablespoons) honey
- salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 10 ml Dijon mustard
- 5 ml honey
- about 150 g swiss chard spinach, chopped (stems finely sliced) - or use rocket leaves
- 6-8 ripe black figs, sliced
- 100 g blue cheese, crumbled
- seeds of 1/2 ripe pomegranate
- 1/2 cup (50 g) pecan nuts, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 220 C. Arrange the butternut on a large baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Drizzle all over with olive oil and honey, then toss with a spatula to cover on all sides. Season with salt & pepper, then roast for 20-25 minutes or until brown on the edges and tender. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Make the dressing: add the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and honey to a small jar, season with salt & pepper and shake vigorously. Add the spinach to a mixing bowl, then add half the dressing and toss to coat all over. Transfer the dressed spinach to a salad serving platter, then add the glazed butternut, figs, blue cheese, pomegranate seeds and pecan nuts. Serve at once (the dressed spinach will continue to wilt on standing).