Back in the 1990s while working on First Impressions
, a book of appetizers, I created a recipe for a warm fall squash dip served with sliced apples and sautéed sausages. The main ingredients in that simple recipe were pureed acorn squash, curry powder, and sour cream. For years, I served this colorful starter when autumn arrived, but then somehow the dish fell off my radar screen—until this year when I decided to give the recipe a facelift.
For my 21st century version I roasted and pureed cubed butternut squash, and seasoned it not only with curry powder, but with rosemary and thyme as well. And, in place of sour cream, I substituted crème fraiche, which has a more complex flavor.
A few weeks ago while admiring the bountiful display at the cheese counter of my local Whole Foods, I spotted one of my favorite French fromages
There, in full view, was a wheel of Comté
, a hard, ivory-hued cow’s milk cheese with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor from the east of France. I was even more surprised later that month when I discovered that two local supermarket chains were selling Comté as well.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out how to use my purchase. Since fall weather was arriving, I decided to include it in an autumn salad. I combined beautiful deep wine- and green-hued leaf lettuce with Belgian endive for the base, then added thinly sliced pears, toasted nuts,