Monday, March 9, 2009

Roasted Winter Squash Salad

If you like winter squash, you will love this recipe. It tastes like a trip to New England, with its warm apple cider vinaigrette, a touch of cranberry here and there, and real maple syrup glazing the squash.

We, however, are not huge squash fans. You might wonder why I chose to make this when we're not crazy about squash. It's all about stepping outside of the comfort zone, folks. And I can honestly say the flavors in this salad are delicious, and it makes an elegant dish. The sheer amount of squash was a bit much for us, but that's us. Therefore I do still recommend it for the squash-lovers out there.

The recipe calls for butternut squash, but I decided to go with acorn squash since I'd been wanting to try it out. They are virtually interchangeable, so go with whatever sounds good to you. I'll warn you, though, that peeling an acorn squash is a remarkably challenging task.

Roasted Winter Squash Salad
adapted from the Barefoot Contessa's "Back to Basics"
serves 3-4


1 (1 1/2 pound) winter squash, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup EVOO
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful dried cranberries
3/4 cup unfiltered apple cider
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
one small shallot, minced
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3-4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash pieces on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons EVOO, the maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat evenly. Roast for 15 minutes, turning once. Sprinkle the dried cranberries over the squash and then return to the oven, roasting for another 4-5 minutes, or until squash is tender.

2. While squash is roasting, combine apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, 1/4 cup EVOO, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

3. Place arugula in a salad bowl and add the squash mixture, walnuts, and parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Serve.

So squash-lovers, rejoice! Here is a delicately sweet, yet robust salad. Enjoy!


  1. oh my goodness now i'm starving. the picture looks too good.

  2. Superb presentation.