Squash and Endive Salad

Squash and Endive Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Gramercy Tavern Restaurant Recipe

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cloves
1 star anise
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised with the side of a chef's knife and quartered
1 (1/2 inch) piece of ginger, bruised
2 cups orange juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed (1 inch) winter squash, such as kabocha
1/3 cup verjus
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dried sweet cherries or raisins
3 endives, 2 halved lengthwise, 1 julienned
2 handfuls baby mustard greens
1 1/2 tablespoons roasted, salted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
Maple Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Tie up the coriander, peppercorns, cloves, star anise, 1 thyme sprig, the bay leaf, lemongrass, and ginger in a piece of cheesecloth to make a sachet.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the orange juice, 1 cup water, and the olive oil, add the squash, season with salt, and add the sachet. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is just tender but still holds its shape, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the braised squash to a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold. Discard the sachet and cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup of the verjus, the lemon juice, sugar, and the remaining thyme sprig, add the dried cherries and halved endives, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the endives are tender but still hold their shape, 7 to 9 minutes.

Transfer the braised endives and cherries to a plate and refrigerate until cold. Discard the thyme sprig and cooking liquid.

In a medium bowl, toss the braised squash, endives, and cherries together with a little of the maple vinaigrette. Put on plates.

Toss the mustard greens, julienned endive, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds with a little vinaigrette, scatter over the braised squash mixture, and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette. Serves 4.

Maple Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Pinch of Aleppo pepper
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, and Aleppo pepper; season with salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly until the dressing is emulsified. Makes about 1/3 cup.