A good salad make me happy… very happy! This is a good one. Butternut squash has not shown itself on our menus here at our house very often. I do house “somewhat” of a picky eater. I do love this butternut squash soup. It’s good enough to drink with a straw. And this Roasted butternut squash may not make it to your table. You can’t help but nibble on it right out of the oven! So when I was perusing my cookbooks looking for a salad for my upcoming book club I found this perfect salad to serve with this soup.
In spite of peeling and cubing a large squash it is a breeze to make and really flavorful. Be really careful when toasting the walnuts. Just saying that because I burned not one pan, but two pans of them while trying to do too many things at one time. And guess what I had no more walnuts and substituted pecans which were just as good. Thank goodness!
If you plan to double the recipe use two large baking sheets. You will get a better roast when the squash is not crowded. And another thing, I did not use all of the dressing. You can always add more if needed. So here you go, enjoy yourself a nice warm winter salad. Of course the squash is just as good at room temperature.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette from Ina
Yield: 4 servings
1 (1 ½-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
¾ cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
½ cup walnut halves, toasted
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about ¼ cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, ½ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.