BERNARDSTON, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - Brent Menke , Executive Chef at The Farm Table at Kringle Candle in Bernardston, joined us in the Mass Appeal kitchen to bring us a taste of their delicious menu with a recipe for Warm Quinoa and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette.
The Farm Table at Kringle Candle
219 South Street
(413) 648 - 5200
Warm Quinoa and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- 1 1/2 cups white quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups red quinoa
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 C. butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 C. carrot, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 C. parsnip, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 2 C. wild mushrooms (hen of the woods, oyster, porchini, or other)
- 3 Tbsp Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 lb. Arugula
- 1 C. diced honey crisp or granny smith apples
- 1 C. crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
- 1/2 C. lemon juice
- 1/2 C. maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 Tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tsp hot smoked paprika
- 2 C. olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Quinoa:
- Bring the water to a boil and add the quinoa.
- Reduce the temperature and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Cover the pot and steam the quinoa for 30 minutes.
For the Roasted Vegetables:
- Toss the squash, carrots and parsnips in 1 ½ Tbs. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the vegetables on a sheet pan and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges.
- Toss the mushroom in 1 ½ Tbs. of olive oil along with salt and pepper taste. Place the mushrooms on a sheet pan and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 7 minutes or until the mushrooms have given off their water and are lightly golden at the edges.
For the Vinaigrette:
- Whisk together the lemon juice, maple, Dijon and spices. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper
- All of the components of this dish can be made well ahead of time and assembled when desired.
- Place the cooked quinoa, squash, parsnips, and mushrooms on a sheet pan and heat in a 375 degree oven for about 4 minutes or until warm to the center. Once warm, toss with the vinaigrette to taste and place on top of the arugula. Sprinkle over the apples, feta and pepitas and serve family style. Serves 8.
About The Farm Table at Kringle Candle:
When this sturdy Bernardston colonial house was built in 1800, the American Revolution was recently-concluded. More than two centuries later, the faithfully- renovated structure surrounding you finds itself at the dawn of a new revolution. In a world grown weary of chemicals, pesticides, genetically-modified plants, fruits and animals, increasingly-educated consumers are turning away from petroleum-fueled factory operations situated a continent away. More and more, the thinking person embraces healthy, ethically- produced local foodstuffs of every kind. As we considered the power of the burgeoning farm-to-table eating movement, we realized we had found not only a method, but a name for this enterprise. To that simple end, The Farm Table offers honest nourishment for the body and elegant respite for the soul.
Look around you. The candlelit spaces, open-hearth oven, and comforting fireplaces speak wordlessly of a quieter, simpler time in New England history. Our menu similarly speaks of a better time in culinary history. Created by executive chef Brent Menke and featuring internationally- nuanced New American cuisine, a meal taken here is truly an experience to remember. Virtually every item we serve is sourced from our very own organic farm as well as growers within a 50-mile radius of The Farm Table.
Our concept is based upon our company motto: "The Way it Used to Be." A truly good restaurant should be more than a place to feed you; it should nourish the body, educate the mind and entertain the spirit. These are our modest but steadfast goals. This old farmhouse has lived many lives in 200-plus years, but it has always been a home. And now we invite you to come and dine with us in the restaurant that has become our home: The Farm Table.
About Chef Brent Menke:
Brent has cooked professionally for nearly twenty years. Prior to joining The Farm Table, he served as Chef aboard Paraffin, one of the finest luxury motor yachts sailing the planet today.
Here, he provides a glimpse into his philosophies on cooking.
In my opinion, fine cuisine absolutely must be ingredient-driven. Without superior raw materials to work with, the best chef is inevitably doomed to fail. And I don't like to fail, ever.
Being chef aboard Paraffin provided its own special set of challenges and rewards. Cruising to some of the most wondrous places on Earth yields one a real gastronomic bonus; access to some of the rarest, freshest ingredients of all. This provides exciting opportunities for a chef to expand his knowledge and imagination while creating new and - ideally – truly great food. Aboard Paraffin we served a well-travelled clientele
that included celebrities, royalty and presidents. Consequently, we were frequently asked to create dishes. The demands could be monumental and at times, sleep was optional. No matter what, the show always went on – and with a smile. Challenging as it was, this experience gave me an astounding insight into the literal world of food at a relatively young age, and I valued every moment.
What has most shaped my career? Without question, my wife and her family. Her constant support – and time spent at the family farm in France - has taught me the critical importance of ingredients. My wife's grandmother is a formidable battleship of a woman, strong and weathered with age, and fiercely protective of her family, yet she has such a natural way with food. With eggs from the hen house, a rabbit for the pot, some carrots fresh with garden soil and peaches still warm from the tree, she produces the kind of comfort food only a lifetime of experience can provide. My wife's father taught me that if you put love both into the garden and your work, it gives you beautiful things in return, just like a family.
My philosophy on food and life comes down to a single word: respect. Respect for the ingredients, respect for those you serve, respect for those who work for you, and respect for yourself. And I do believe if you love your work, you will surely taste it.
Chef - The Farm Table