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Playing Autumn Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Roasted Squash


For the dressing:
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated
  • 1 small shallot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Acacia (light in color and flavor) honey or superfine sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/2 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the salad:
  • For the salad: 1 1/2 to 2 pounds (2 large bundles) medium-sized leaf spinach
  • 1 butternut squash or sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika/pimentòn
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • About 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • About 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon each granulated garlic and onion, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, plumped in boiling water to cover then drained
  • 1/2 cup smoked almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pepitas, toasted
  • Deli-sliced Leyden cheese (Gouda with cumin) or Smoked Gouda, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup drained Giardiniera chopped or 1/2 cup chopped cornichons
On the side:
  • Bachman Pretzel Rods and Pub Cheese (such as Oscar’s Smokehouse bacon-horseradish and jalapeno flavors), for dipping


Serves: 4 to 6 servings


For the dressing, in a bowl, whisk up the dressing ingredients. except EVOO. Slowly stream in oil while whisking and adjust seasoning to taste; reserve.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Clean, stem and dry the spinach; coarsely chop. Arrange and mound across a large cutting board or very large platter.

Arrange squash or pumpkin on a baking sheet and toss with EVOO or coat with cooking spray. Season with smoked paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne or chili flakes, salt and pepper, and roast to tender and light brown at edges, 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Preheat a large, cast-iron skillet or griddle.

Drizzle chicken with EVOO and toss with granulated garlic and onion, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Grill or griddle chicken 7-8 minutes turning occasionally. Grill lemon half cut-side down until charred. Douse chicken with juice of grilled halved lemon, remove to cutting board and slice.

Combine cranberries with nuts and pepitas.

Across bed of spinach in rows arrange the pickled vegetables or cornichons, roasted squash or pumpkin, nuts, seeds and fruit, chicken, cheese and red onions. Top with dressing.

Serve with pretzel rods and pub cheese for dipping alongside.