Monday, October 26, 2009

Eat Orange Food, Part 3: Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This recipe is one of those that can satisfy quite a few things: a healthy dose of leafy greens; comfort food in the form of warm, roasted butternut squash; seasonal, fresh ingredients; and a burst of flavors guaranteed to satisfy. There's really not much more to say. Curl up with this salad alongside a warm bowl of soup and some crusty bread - heaven. My version was inspired by an Ina Garten recipe; hope it inspires you as well.

Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Apple Cider Vinaigrette
  • 1 to 1-1/2-pounds of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Vinaigrette
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan; coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender.

For the vinaigrette, 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 and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

To assemble, place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash, pomegranate seeds and walnuts. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well (the warm vinaigrette will wilt the arugula). Garnish with the grated Parmesan cheese.

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