Saturday, July 11, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

The more I try new recipes the more adventurous I am getting. Well maybe adventurous is not the word I should use, maybe experimental.

When I make salads I never give Arugula a thought. Arugula is a word that I had probably never heard of until recent years. (I lived life like I lived in a shell, seriously). I do agree that it has a bitter taste. I didn't pick up the peppery taste as I have heard it discribed as. One thing I thought of right away is that it tasted like a piece of grass. But what do I know, I'm not a seasoned chef. lol... Another thing I never would have thought about putting on a salad is roasted butternut squash. I think I ate more of the squash while it was cooling than in the salad.

One thing I did not do per the recipe was serve the dressing warm. I had a baseball game in the backyard to play. I love the sweet mustard flavor of the dressing.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
recipe by Ina Garten


1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts 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. 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.

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