Thank you to one of my favorite weekly newsletters, Goop, for making the introduction to Food52 on Thursday of the week before last. If you are not already familiar with Food52, I encourage you to check out the website. It is a wonderful, informative and engaging site. Check in, stay awhile and learn a thing or two. Look up any good, item or ingredient and prepare to be awestruck. The world is now officially your oyster. Food52 is fast becoming a VIP resource in our domain.

This site comprehensively covers the entire gauntlet in all arenas gastronomy. It offers a prolific recipe database, a hotline for questions, an online shop and manifold columns covering multiple topics from vegan food to southern cuisine.  Have a fabulous recipe? Submit it and seize the opportunity to participate in contests. I plan to. I encourage you to sign up for an account, which will ensure that you receive the daily news and recipes. Get creative and be inspired. What more can one ask for?

This site is truly a pleasure to navigate. Everything is straightforward and simply presented. Saturday morning I made an inspiring salad dressing that I found quite randomly. Who knew flaxseed oil paired so nicely with apple cider vinegar and maple syrup?  I usually save this variant of oil for smoothies and gluten free oats with almond milk. I am a big fan of making one’s own salad dressings. It is very easy and you bypass all the extra rubbish that goes into most of the packaged ones found on grocery aisles. 

A solid rule of thumb is to go two parts oil (olive, sesame, coconut, grapeseed, walnut, canola - you get the picture) with one part vinegar, lemon or lime. With regards to measurements, figure out what you like best. Then tizzy it up with mustard (all sorts) and maple syrup or honey for a bit of sweetness. Throw in some spices or fresh chopped herbs. Chives, tarragon and sage are all excellent candidates. I also like to use garlic or ginger. 

My favorite involves mixing homemade pesto with lemon juice and olive oil. Pesto also pairs nicely with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a honey. Use yoghurt, mayonnaise or vegenaise as a base for creamier dressings. Whip up something in a coffee mug and put it to use. We often times put ours in Mason Jars. With the lid on, it makes for easy shaking and they can sit in the fridge for awhile.  A tablespoon here and a squeeze of something there. Only the best for my greens. Yours deserve the same too!

The below recipe was emailed to me a pair of days ago by Food52. I was immediately attracted to the quick prep time and four ingredients. Butternut squash is obvious by now. In season and readily available everywhere. My local grocer sells it already skinned and chopped. Cut corners where you can.  If yours doesn’t sell it diced, this variant of squash is a breeze to attack. Garbanzo beans or chick peas are my favorite legume. I recently prepared my own (dried, soaked, cooked) and it will be a long while before I purchase canned again. 

Tahini or sesame paste is a kitchen staple. You can now find it at Trader Joe’s. I always keep it stocked in the kitchen in the random event that I want to make hummus. I had never used it for anything other than that until I purchased Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook It’s All Good. In this book, she introduces a recipe for a basic, chopped salad dressing that calls for tahini, yoghurt, lemon, garlic and boiled water. It is phenomenal. In fact, many a nights we build our meals around the gorgeous stuff. Ground Allspice was the last one – namely because it is a spice of which I have plenty and use quite infrequently. A couple of dashes commands tremendous flavor. Talk about bang for your buck.

Last night we met at the home of great friends for cocktails, grub and livery. As the evening ensued, we sat down to play a game called Cards Against Humanity. Wholly inappropriate to the point of awkward. Cringeworthy is a word that comes to mind but did we laugh. Home run in the entertainment department. The host of the evening served Gwyneth's Duck & Rosemary Burgers with Plum Ketchup from her first cookbook, My Father's Daughter. They were fabulous. I served the Food52 medley over organic spinach with toasted walnuts and a drizzle of olive oil. The dressing recipe yields a nice amount that will stretch past that of your salad. I know for a fact that the bowl sitting in our fridge at present will be long gone before nightfall. Now that is my kind of dish.

Moro's Warm Squash & Chick Pea Salad with Tahini
Adapted from Food52
Recipe by: Kristen Miglore


2 lb butternut squash - roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp ground Allspice
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1.5 cups of garbanzo beans - I encourage you to prepare dried but if time is tight, one can
1/2 red onion - chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro - chopped
The juice of 3 lemons
3 TBS tahini paste
2 TBS boiling water
Kosher salt


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a pan, mix together the squash, 2 TBS olive oil, one chopped garlic clove, the Allspice, a pinch of salt and a couple of cracks of pepper. Roast for approximately 40 minutes until caramelized. Halfway through, I added the garbanzo beans to the mix. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Chop your onion and cilantro. Add to a bowl.

3. To make your dressing, mix the tahini paste with the lemon juice, olive oil and the other chopped garlic clove. To simplify the dressing making process, I use boiling water that I find helps to dissolve the tahini. Add a pinch of salt. Give everything a mix and you should have a lovely, creamy dressing. Taste. Knockout, right?

3. Add the butternut squash and garbanzo beans to the bowl containing the chopped onion and cilantro. Pour some or all of the dressing on top and give a big, gentle stir. You don't want to squash the squash. I used approximately half of our dressing. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil. 

You can serve this warm or chilled on a bed of greens. Bon Appetit!

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