October 15, 2012

Acorn Squash, Frisée and Barley Salad with Warm Scallion Dressing

Acorn Squash, Frisée and Barley SaladAside from a bit part in bags of Spring Mix, frisée rarely makes an appearance in markets or restaurants.  The reason is widespread frisée hatred, and I mean hatred.  The Amateur Gourmet declares war on the innocent vegetable in his blog post “I Declare War on Frisee!”.  Googling "frisée hate" brings up results riddled with phrases like "who likes this sh*t?" and "is it hair?".  I’m here to show my support for frisée, a lettuce with a backbone that can stand up to heavy ingredients like figs and lardons, that does not wilt under the rule of dressing.  When properly chopped and accessorized, this shunned green lends an ideal textural contrast to soft ingredients like squash.  It’s time we gave frisée another chance and the respect it deserves.  With all that said, you're welcome to use arugula or endive instead of frisée but that would totally defeat the purpose of my rant.

Acorn Squash, Frisée and Barley Salad


Makes 2 servings
1/4 small acorn squash (see directions before cutting)
1/4 cup dried barley
3/4 cups water (plus 1/2 cup more for cooking the squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 scallions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tightly packed cup frisée, chopped

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the squash in half, placing it cut sides down in a baking dish.  Pour a 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the baking dish to prevent burning.  Bake squash in the oven for 40 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile add barley and water to a pot over medium heat, boil for 20 minutes or until all the water evaporates and the barley is tender.

3.  While the barley is cooking, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat, adding the scallions.  Cook scallions for 5 or 6 minutes, then turn off heat.  Transfer oil and scallions to a small mixing bowl and whisk in the vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper.

4.  When squash is done cooking, cut off ¼ of it, remove the skin, cut it in cubes and add it (1 cup worth) to a mixing bowl with the frisée, 1/2 cup of the cooked barley and the dressing.  Toss well and serve.


  1. Love this! I like me some frisee, in moderation of course, but the "is it hair?" comment made me laugh. Way to dress it up and make the haters jealous.

  2. Thanks, frisee sure is purdy! I hope I've converted some folks.

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