Roasted Butternut Squash & Arugula Salad

LITTLE EFFORT, BIG IMPACT. That’s how I’m living. I almost typed livin’ but I don’t know if I’m that cool.

Maybe I am. I dunno.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

I’ve got a lot on my plate these days and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m working, podcasting, organizing, mom-ing, wife-ing, cooking, making…In other words, there are a lot of ings in my life right now. The most important ing in my life has been and will ALWAYS be eating. You could have guessed as much.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Since I’m a busy lady with a love for new dishes, most of the recipes I’ve been clipping out have been simple and short. A lot of them require mostly pantry staples with a few fresh produce elements thrown into the mix. This one does just that! I had everything in my kitchen except arugula & apple cider.

Aaaaaand wouldn’t you know that with all the my grocery planning, I totally forgot to pick up the apple cider! It was probably those 3 unplanned minutes spent in front of the kombucha shelf figuring out what flavors to get. Guava? Mango? Passionberry? Oooh Strawberry! Tough decisions. When I got home, I made the executive decision to add the orange juice I already had in my fridge to the warm vinaigrette and it worked like a charm!

This salad has all my favorite things:

Toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, Parmesan, arugula & roasted butternut squash.

Loving. Can we make that the new WINNING? Please?

And we’re off!

First thing’s first. We have to roast that butternut squash! Peel & chop.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Get out some maple syrup & olive oil.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Onto a baking sheet it goes. Lube it up! Now roast.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Throw in the dried cranberries at the last 5 mins of roasting.
They get plumped up!

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

While you’re at it, throw some walnuts in a baking pan and roast them. 5 minutes should do.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Dressing time! It’s a warm dressing. It’s cozy.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Oj, vinegar & chopped shallot go into a pan.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

While it’s reducing, get the olive oil & Dijon together.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

The vinaigrette has reduced and it’s time to add in the mustard & oil.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

The roasted squash & cranberries go into a bowl with the walnuts & arugula.

Now the dressing goes on top.

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

PARMESAN CHEESE!!!!!!!!!

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Stir it in there!

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Serve it up!

roasted butternut squash & arugula salad

Yeah I know it’s February. This is NOT JUST AN AUTUMN SALAD.

I would eat it during summertime if butternut squash was around.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Arugula Salad

(recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients)

  • 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 orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 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 baking sheet. 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 baking sheet for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the orange juice, 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, 1/4 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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41 Comments

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  • February 8, 2012

    Your post is right on time. I’m trying to incorporate more yellow foods in my weekly diet. Dr. Oz recommends 3 servings per week–not easy to pull off. But now I have another option because of your lovely salad. I really enjoy the magazine look and feel of your blog, and the photos are gorgeous. I’m a fan!

  • February 8, 2012

    I had a similar salad in a restaurant the other week with feta and toasted pine nuts. It was amazing.

  • February 8, 2012

    I adore BN squash and yet I rarely eat it… this looks amazing!

  • February 8, 2012

    -Ing things are what makes livING worthy and excitING.

  • February 8, 2012

    Mmm nothing like a good, fresh, salad! Love it!

  • This is a beautiful salad! It has all my favorite things in it…maple, citrus, cranberries and roasted squash. I especially love your suggestion to throw the dried cranberries in the oven for a few minutes- can’t wait to try it!

  • February 8, 2012

    Yum. I do a version of a butternut squash and arugula salad at work! It’s one of my favorites. I should make this at home more often.

  • February 8, 2012

    this salad is truly stunning, and anything that has major flavor impact and minimal prep is something i’ll get behind. delicious!

  • February 8, 2012

    This sounds delicious and perfect for lunch! I use my microplane to make parmesan snow all the time, too :)

  • Yum! I wish my husband liked squash, I would be eating it all the time.

  • February 8, 2012

    I am so going to make this as I have a butternut squash just sitting waiting to be used in my pantry. I wonder how this would be with massaged kale? Think I might give it a try.

  • February 8, 2012

    that squash looks like a cave up there!
    I love that you were so flexible in the juice department and I am in love with warm vinaigrettes. They make cool-weather salads feel special.

  • February 8, 2012

    Yeaaah, if you could just shovel this into my UNHINGED JAW, that’d be coo.

  • Jessica
    February 8, 2012

    Definitely “LovING”! :)

  • Amanda
    February 8, 2012

    YUM! I have never eaten a salad with my beloved butternut squash! I ate pretty much this exact same salad except with roasted beets and goats cheese yesterday! for reals!

  • February 8, 2012

    I love butternut squash. Why does it insist on being so hard to chop?

  • February 8, 2012

    Butternut squash and arugula are total BFFs. Can’t wait to make this!

  • Britt
    February 8, 2012

    This reminds me of one of my favorite salads from Varga in Philly. Only difference is really red onions and roasted pumpkin seeds. I can’t wait to try this version!

  • February 8, 2012

    Oh this looks fantastic. Restaurant worthy! I could eat roasted butternut squash like it’s candy. Mmmm…

  • February 8, 2012

    Uh, hello! This is totally my kind of meal. Love this a whole lot.

  • February 8, 2012

    This looks awesome. I stood in front of the greens/lettuce section at the grocery store yesterday for a good 5 minutes trying to decide what to get. So many good choices! Now I wish I had gone for arugula.

  • MellifluousJ
    February 8, 2012

    This looks AWESOME! I’m going vegetarian on Fridays and this will be an excellent addition to this Friday’s already planned meal.

    Thanks, Tracy!

  • February 8, 2012

    oh my goodness! I have been doing this with my roasted butternut squash and arugula. It is the perfect combo of peppery and sweet, love it. Must try with the dressing and cranberries. Did I mention that I love this?
    MANGIA!

  • MaryBeth
    February 8, 2012

    Oh I love that cookbook! I’ve made alot of food from it and everything is yummy! Your pictures make the salad look just that much more delicious!

  • February 8, 2012

    Making the boyfriend whip this up tomorrow night; a simple and lovely meal he can make all on his own:WIN!

  • stacy
    February 15, 2012

    made this last night and my husband and I coudn’t get over how good it was! I am allergic to nuts so those were omitted but it was so good I can’t imagine it being better! We will be making this OFTEN. And I will likely use that dressing for other salads- yum!

    • February 15, 2012

      Fantastic!! I was thinking about the nut situation…can you eat seeds? I bet roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds would be fab!

  • Jennifer Price
    March 10, 2012

    This is wonderful! I did not have arugula on hand so I used baby kale and shaved the cheese instead of grating. Also used pecans in place of the walnuts. The small bit that was leftover held up even for lunch the next day. Making it again tonight but with arugula. Love your website!

  • November 6, 2012

    Fantastic recipe and photos. I have posted a link to your recipe on my own recipe for roasted butternut squash salad with tahini-yogurt-herb dressing, do take a look when you have a chance.
    https://cook2jhoom.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/spicy-roasted-butternut-squash-salad-with-a-yogurt-tahini-herb-dressing/
    I have also recently published a cookbook on healthy Indian food.
    Best wishes,
    Cheeku Bhasin

  • Sharp Eyes
    November 15, 2012

    Just made this for the office Thanksgiving potluck today and it was a big hit! Will be making it again next week for the family!!

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