- 1 (1 1/4 pound) acorn squash, halved lengthwise and then cut into crescents, seeds and fibers removed
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus 4 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Essence
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/3 cup
- 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 slices rye bread, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 bunch frisee or chicory, tough stems removed, rinsed and spun dry
- 5 cups mesclun lettuces, rinsed and spun dry
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 8 ounces thick cut bacon, cut into thick strips, fried until crisp, and drained
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, toss the squash crescents with 2 tablespoons of the butter, the sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of the Essence to coat. Place in a roasting pan or baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and roast, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent from sticking, until the squash is tender but still slightly firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk in the goat cheese. Add the bread cubes and toss to evenly coat. Place on a small baking sheet and bake until toasted and bubbly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and creme fraiche. Add the vinegar, horseradish, salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the remaining 1/3 cup of oil, whisking constantly until emulsified.
- In a large bowl, combine the frisee and mesclun lettuces. Add the squash, croutons, and walnuts, and enough dressing to lightly coat. Toss to combine and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
- Divide the lettuces among 4 salad plates and top with the bacon lardons. Drizzle with additional dressing and serve.
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