Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Ever cooked with butternut squash?  We hadn’t either.  That is, until this past fall.  It all started this past Fall when we would get one or two in our weekly CSA subscription.  For reasons that I have no explanation for squash didn’t appeal to me.  So I had zero enthusiasm for squash when it came into season and we started getting it every Wednesday in our weekly pick-up.  That all changed when my darling wife took it upon herself to figure out how to cook this Halloween/Fall decoration looking vegetable.

Long story short – we now love butternut squash.  I no longer look at it like it’s a Fall decoration fit for a centerpiece.  When my wife cooks it I know I’m leaving the table full and satisfied.

I could have picked one of about 4 different recipes that have been regular menu choices in our home over the past few months.  I choose the newest one because when we ate it I said “this needs to be blogged about.”  A light bulb had gone off in my stomach.

Ok, time to fess up: my wife made this so all credit for this post goes to her.

This was largely inspired by Barefoot Contessa “Back to Basics”.   As always, we made some changes along the way.

It's like vegetable candy

Ingredients:

1 – 1.5 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced (3/4″)
olive oil
1 tbs pure maple syrup
3 tbs dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs minced shallots
4 oz baby arugula (washed and dried)
1/2 cup walnut halves
goat cheese (ummm, I’m not sure how much.  How about as much as you want…)

When ready to cook:

  1. preheat oven to 400
  2. place the squash, 2 tbs of olive oil, maple syrup, salt & pepper (to taste) in a ziploc bag or tupperware container with lid.  Shake until the squash is well coated.  Spread onto a sheet pan.
  3. roast the squash for 15 to 20 minute, turning once, until tender
  4. add the cranberries to the pan when there is 5 minutes left
  5. while the squash is cooking, combine the apple cider/juice, vinegar and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat
  6. cook for 6-8 minutes, until is reduced to about 1/4 cup (note: I have no idea how much a 1/4 cup is without using a measuring cup.  So just cook until it thickens a bit)
  7. remove from heat, whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. place the arugla in a salad bowl, add the roasted squash, walnuts and goat cheese
  9. spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well
  10. sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

Lessons learned:

  1. I love butternut squash… but you already knew that
  2. I bet maple syrup would be good on about anything.
    1. Emily: You like sugar, huh?
      Buddy: Is there sugar in syrup?
      Emily: Yes.
      Buddy: Then YES!

What we drank with it:
J. Lohr Estates 2009 Chardonnay (CA)
Paradise Springs 2008 Viognier (VA)

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2 responses to “Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette | A Guy, His Wife and their Kitchen -- Topsy.com

  2. You had never — as in ever — cooked butternut squash?! That’s a shame — you’ve been missing out on a great roasted vegetable side dish, delicious soups, and so on.

    Here’s to trying new foods!

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