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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad picture

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Roasted butternut squash is slightly sweet and hearty. It pairs well with maple syrup and you'll find a hint of it in this salad. This salad can be a meal in itself, or serve it alongside roast chicken. Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's "Back To Basics".

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  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces baby arugula or fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 3/4 cup walnut halves
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Serves 6

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place the chopped squash on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast the squash for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking, or until the squash is tender and starting to brown.  When done, remove the pan from the oven and toss in the cranberries.
  3. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by combining the apple juice, cider vinegar and shallots in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. (Careful!  The liquid evaporates quickly if you're not paying attention!)
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  5. To assemble, place the arugula or spinach in a large bowl and add the squash mixture, the walnuts and the Parmesan cheese (if using). Add just enough vinaigrette to moisten the leaves and toss well to evenly coat all ingredients. Taste and add more vinaigrette, salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.  (Note:  Leftover vinaigrette may be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.)

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