Get cozy with this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
Guys, I’ve been eating WAY too many sweets! Well, it’s really not more than I did before but it’s starting to catch up with me… probably because I’ve been really slacking on the workouts and at this time last year I could eat all the yummy treats I wanted because I was pretty much still eating for two.
It also doesn’t help that I just bought FOUR bags of candy today. For the trick-or-treaters of course! They were on sale for $1.50 if I bought 4 bags. Couldn’t pass up a deal like that! (impulse buyer?) Especially those peanut butter Snickers. Have you tried those? Amazing. Okay, okay, we live in an apartment and don’t get trick-or treaters so really I bought it for us. To compensate for all the goodies I’ve made, bought, and for future yummies to be made, I’m making sure I balance it out with my meals (yeah, not giving up sweets) which are still tasty but full of vitamins and minerals and are on the lighter side.
So on the menu for lunch is this salad which is perfect for the fall. The squash and dressing are both warm which really adds to the warm cozy fall theme going on. The dried cranberries pair perfect with the squash and are softer than normal because you toss them in with the squash for the last 5 minutes of cooking. And then there are toasted walnuts which I probably ate a fourth cup of while just putting this salad together. I’m NUTS about nuts! They are a must in salads, as is cheese. 🙂 See those big shavings of fresh Parmesan? Yum!
Well I’ll just be over here eating this cozy salad all fall and winter long (along with a yummy treat for dessert). Hope you enjoy it too!
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 3 cups about 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, diced into 3/4 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt divided*
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper divided
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons onion minced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 ounces mixed spring lettuce
- 1/4 cup Parmesan peeled
Line a baking sheet with foil and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread squash onto pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and the syrup. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir and then bake for 20 minutes until tender, stirring halfway through. Add the cranberries after 15 minutes.
In a small sauce pan, heat the apple cider, vinegar, and onion over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for about 6 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and then slowly stream in the 1/3 cup oil while whisking.
In a small skillet, melt butter. Add walnuts and toss every 20 seconds, cooking until browned and toasted. Empty onto a paper towel lined plate and let cool.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the squash, cranberries, walnuts, and Parmesan. Add desired amount of dressing (about half of it) and serve immediately.
*If you use regular table salt you need to half the salt amounts.
Recipe Source: Slightly adapted from Ina Garten