Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

My new favorite vegetable is Butternut Squash. Maybe because it's similar to taste to pumpkin, my other love of my life aside from my husband. I love you hubby! Recently, I made a butternut squash risotto and loved it. Also, I still have to make butternut squash soup - it's on my to-do list. I served this salad as a starter for our Parisan meal from Ina Garten. You really must try this salad, it's nutty, sweet & melts in your mouth. I had to substitute the arugula for mixed greens because it's too peppery for my tastebuds. There is plenty of dressing leftover from this, so you can always save it for later, too. I don't like my salads overly done with dressing.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
Adapted from Ina Garten

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 mixed greens
1/2 cup candied walnuts halves
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. 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 5minutes.
3. 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.
4. Place the mixed greens 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.

Review: I love roasted butternut squash and the addition of the maple glaze on top is divine. My husband thought we were eating mango with our salad because it was so soft and sweet. Although this salad is perfect as is, add a little crispy crumbled bacon on top - for that extra oomph and ahhh for a perfect lunchtime meal. You deserve it.
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