Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
As winter winds down, enjoy this seasonal salad.
Enjoy this seasonal salad in the last few remaining chilly evenings of winter. This colorful Roasted Butternut Squash Salad works for either an entree or side dish and packs a healthy punch from the squash, cranberries and arugula. Aim for the brightest colored fruits and veggies in your diet; they are loaded with nutrients and powerhouses of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
- ¾ pound of butternut squash, diced in bite-sized pieces (I buy the pre-cut to make life easier)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup (don’t skimp-use the real thing)
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 5-6 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ cup olive oil
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- ½ cup walnuts or almonds chopped and toasted
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Put the squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper in a mixing bowl and toss until coated.
- Transfer the squash to a cookie sheet and roast it for about 15-20 minutes. Add the cranberries to the pan, toss everything and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, combine the apple juice, the vinegar and the shallots in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Cook it for about 6-8 minutes, until the liquid is reduced to about ¼ cup. Take it off the heat, and whisk in the mustard, ½ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
- Place the arugula in a large bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the nuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten it, and toss well. Less dressing is better; don’t make it soggy.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Stacey Kendrick, MS, is a health educator with almost 20 years of experience in wellness and population health. She spent much of her professional career at Vanderbilt’s Faculty/Staff Wellness Program and currently works in the Strategic Marketing Department at Vanderbilt. She is the mother to two grown-up and amazing daughters. In her free time she teaches healthy cooking classes, runs, gardens and enjoys backyard bonfires with her husband in her cozy country cottage.