Meatless Mondays: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

I admit that I don’t love the cold weather. People take up so much more room on the subways with their puffy winter coats on! But with the cold weather comes some delicious winter treats, and one of those is butternut squash. They’ve been prominent in supermarkets ever since Sukkot, and I’ve made soup with them, roasted them, and added some the pot pie. But now it’s time to add another cold-weather favorite to the mix, apple cider. I love warm apple cider, especially from the farmer’s market near Columbia on Thursdays. Yes, I schedule my grad school classes around apple cider, who wouldn’t?

So welcome winter with a totally-fitting-for-a-main-dish-salad on this Meatless Monday!

Anyway, I couldn’t pass up on this salad recipe that calls for a salad with teeny little butternut squash chunks and a warm dressing made with apple cider. The dried cranberries can’t hurt either. Usually I don’t like walnuts. I never buy them, and I never add them to my brownies or baked goods, unless my mom is coming over. She thinks walnuts make any cookie or brownie infinitely better. They actually add a nice crunch to this salad, and an extra texture, which I like. This salad has crispy lettuce, soft butternut squash, chewy cranberries, and hard walnuts. What more can you ask for in a salad? Oh, a warm dressing, obviously.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette, adapted from Ina Garten:

For the dressing:

  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, which I don’t have in my pantry – you can use red wine, too)
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots (I omitted these)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1. Combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to 1/4 cup, about 6-8 minutes.

2. Off the heat, add the olive oil, Dijon, salt, and pepper.

For the salad:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice (about 1 1/2 pounds, if you have a scale)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 4 ounces lettuce, I used mixed baby greens. Ina used baby arugula.
  • Some Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. On a half sheet pan, combine the butternut squash, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the squash becomes soft and begins to brown.

3. When the squash has been roasting for 15 minutes, add the dried cranberries to the sheet pan.

4. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and add the roasted squash and cranberries, and walnuts.

5. Spoon dressing over the top until just moistened. Toss well. Serve with a shaved Parmesan cheese.

  • Vickih22

    This one sounds great, girls! I’m trying it for sure!

  • Vickih22

    This one sounds great, girls! I’m trying it for sure!

  • http://thekosherfoodies.com/ Stephanie

    the shallots are so yummy in here! i skipped the cranberries and walnuts when i made it, and stuck with arugula. and used red wine vinegar. sooo delicious! the dressing and b-nut squash are the stars, anyway.

  • http://thekosherfoodies.com/ steph

    the shallots are so yummy in here! i skipped the cranberries and walnuts when i made it, and stuck with arugula. and used red wine vinegar. sooo delicious! the dressing and b-nut squash are the stars, anyway.

  • Dina

    I’ve been making Ina’s salad for Shabbos all season and it’s always a hit! I use candied pecans (because I’m also not a huge walnut fan), and I add a big handful of pomegranate seeds to the salad. If I’m serving it for Shabbos lunch, then I just make the dressing in advance and serve it all at room temperature. It’s so good!

  • Dina

    I’ve been making Ina’s salad for Shabbos all season and it’s always a hit! I use candied pecans (because I’m also not a huge walnut fan), and I add a big handful of pomegranate seeds to the salad. If I’m serving it for Shabbos lunch, then I just make the dressing in advance and serve it all at room temperature. It’s so good!

  • Fresses

    do you think roasting the butternut squash with the maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper would make a good side on its own? or will it be too sweet with the syrup?

    • steph

      no, it would be great! we often roast winter squash with some maple syrup, sans salad.

  • Fresses

    do you think roasting the butternut squash with the maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper would make a good side on its own? or will it be too sweet with the syrup?

    • steph

      no, it would be great! we often roast winter squash with some maple syrup, sans salad.

  • Michelledayan1

    How do we feel about regular pancake syrup instead of maple?u00a0

  • Michelledayan1

    How do we feel about regular pancake syrup instead of maple? 

    • http://thekosherfoodies.com/ steph

      don’t feel good about pancake syrup ever… it’s usually just sugar, or worse, HFCS!

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