Thanksgiving to me is a calm day that starts with hazelnut coffee and the Thanksgiving day parade. Then again I have never attempted to cook a turkey and all of the fixings for a family feast. I have seen my mother do this and know that this mellow morning is not the same luxury experienced by those of you who tackle all the Thanksgiving recipes seen in a magazine and imagine that your butternut squash will look as elegant as Martha Stewart’s.
My dad was coming over late morning and we planned to do some Miami sightseeing in Coral Gables and Coconut Grove and soak up all of this enjoyable (Florida) fall weather with an open sunroof. When we returned it was the perfect time for a light lunch that was festive, hearty, and enjoyable. You can’t starve yourself until the big turkey dinner and if your having guests in your home for Thanksgiving chances are you have all of these ingredients on hand to make this enjoyable light salad I have nicknamed the purple salad.
In the morning I crisped up extra thick maple smoke house bacon and oven baked thin slices of mini purple potatoes for a good salty crunch. The night before I roasted raw walnuts in butter and brown sugar and sliced butternut squash and pan roasted them until golden. The butternut squash was my star of the salad simply because of presentation it just has wow factor and should be served slightly warm if made ahead.
When you combine the finely copped bacon, golden roasted squash slices, and brown sugar walnuts over a bed of arugula mixed with purple and bright green frisee lettuce the hearty sweet and salty ingredients are so enjoyable. I prepare the lettuce with a light chop tossed in a fuji apple dressing recipe found on the lazy mom cooks website, I love her version the best. Garnish the salad with the crispy purple potato slices and fresh pomegranate seeds for added texture, freshness, and goodness. The salad has a little tiny bit of everything in ratio to the lettuce for perfect hearty and fresh bites.
The purple salad is a real treat for a light lunch on a day with very decadent food. You can serve it early and substitute the squash for a poached egg for a brunch style salad. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family from my table to yours.