I’ve decided after close to an hour that I don’t have much to say about this salad, except that it’s tasty, and I’ll be making it again.
My backyard greens have long since frozen solid, and I’m back to buying bins of the stuff, which mostly tend to sit in wait and go slimy in the fridge, not only because I’ve been away a lot but because I’m less inspired to eat a salad than usual. Comes with the snow, I guess – I’d rather be scooping up baked Brie with a crusty baguette.
I came home today and turned the oven on to warm the house up, and decided that if I roasted some winter veggies, I would eat them. And after the past few weeks, I could do with filling up on veggies. Turns out a butternut squash makes as fab a salad as a roasted beet – had I had goat cheese, I would have used it, but big curls of sharp Parm did the trick. Add a sweet, vinegary dressing and crunchy walnuts and you have a winner. I love that the roasted squash is still warm, and that a salad can be warm, and more interesting to eat than a pureed soup.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup apple cider or juice
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
2 tsp grainy mustard
spring greens or baby arugula
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400F.
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.