First of all, Happy November 1st! And now….
Tomato, Cheddar and Pumpkin Butter Salad. I know what you’re thinking. Nelly must’ve gone crazy; pumpkin butter as a salad dressing? Let me just tell you, not just ANY pumpkin butter but an Orange-Apple-Pumpkin Butter! Laced with Indian vanilla bean, the velvety smoothness of the pumpkin makes it the perfect canvas for a dressing, the citrusy tang of the orange (both zest and juice) and the sweet apples make it a perfect fall dressing!
See, I’m not a salad fan. I’ll never ever order a salad at a restaurant; I rarely make salads at home (unless they start with the words potato or pasta in front); “a bed of lettuce” has never been a phrase I say much, much less consume it. But when you talk to me about chunky, decadent and flavorful salads, I’m in! Spicy Tuna Potato Salad? Yes, please! Avocado and Tomato Salad? Of course! And now, Tomato, Cheddar and Pumpkin Butter Salad. I swear, you’ll crave this salad every day after the first time you make it. I know I do.
Tomato, Cheddar and Pumpkin Butter Salad
Make the pumpkin butter a day or two ahead so the flavors meld together. As for the cheese, scout out your favorite cheddar; this one is a local White Cheddar from New England that added a nice tang to the salad. And even if tomatoes are the most seasonal in fall, search for cherry tomatoes that will pack some juicyness in them!
For the Pumpkin Butter, you’ll need:
2 small apples, diced
1 large orange, juiced and 1 teaspoon of zest reserved
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
to taste: salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
- In a small saucepan, stir all the ingredients together and simmer on medium high heat for 15 minutes.
- With a fork, mash the apples to desired consistency. (Run through the blender if you prefer a smoother texture, but I think the apple dices add character and texture to the butter. Your call.)
- Simmer for 20 more minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates and you have a thick, delicious butter.
- This recipe yields 1 cup of butter, so you might want to double or triple if you plan on using it for more than a dressing.
For the salad (Serves: 2-4)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 cup White Cheddar, cubed
3 tablespoons Orange Apple Pumpkin Butter
to taste: salt, olive oil, red pepper flakes
- Toss all the ingredients together and serve with a toasted slice of crusty bread.
- If you like warmer salads, warm this mixture for 10 seconds in the microwave. It’ll take the chill of the tomatoes and cheese! Enjoy!
And don’t forget to enter my Holiday Chex Mix Giveaway!