After five consecutive days that started with bagels and ended in pie, I was craving something lighter. This salad uses some of the left over ingredients that are around after Thanksgiving, and might help get you back on track. For me that’s a pretty distant track at this point…
This salad has roasted butternut squash, toasted hazelnuts, dried cranberries and a homemade cider vinaigrette. The version I made on Thanksgiving also had thinly sliced pears and goat cheese.
Battling the squash was not easy, especially with my weak knives. Cut off the top and bottom of your butternut squash, slice down the middle, scoop out the seeds, remove skin with a paring knife, and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Toss with a tiny bit of good maple syrup and olive oil and roast until tender.
This dressing was really perfect for any fall salad and will definitely be added to my repertoire. Apple cider to sweeten it, and cider vinegar and dijon mustard to add some tang.
Nutritional Highlights: Butternut sqaush is an incredibly healthy veggie. Way more benefits then the summer squash varieties like zucchini and summer squash. It’s low in fat (good for the heart), high in fiber (good for your digestive system), high in potassium (good for bone health), rich in vitamin B6 (good for the immune and nervous systems). The biggest health perk though, comes from the bright orange color–carotenoids which protect against heart disease, breast cancer, and age-related macular degeneration. Plus, one serving has half your daily dose of vitamin C! Combined with nuts for protein, arugula and dried cranberries, it’s a perfectly balanced meal or side.
Read more at Wholeliving.com: Power Foods: Butternut Squash
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Apple Cider Vinaigrette
adapted from Barefoot Contessa
- 1 (1 1/2-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
- 3/4 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
- 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 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 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of 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.