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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette


Although butternut squash is more of an autumn vegetable, this salad is refreshing in any season.  This recipe is a little different, but super delcious. The roasted butternut squash on a bed of fresh arugula, complimented by a perfect touch of sweet/sour taste from the vinaigrette makes for a mouth-watering salad.



1 (1-1/2 pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
Good olive oil
1 T. pure maple syrup
Salt and ground black pepper
3 T. dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried
1/2 cup walnut 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.  Turn 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.

Happy munching!