Monday, October 24, 2011

Roasted butternut squash and arugula salad

Fall is officially here and the farmers market has loads of squash. And this is the first of my butternut squash recipes. One of my favorite things to do with butternut squash is to roast it with spices and add it to a salad or a pasta.

This recipe is for a salad. I add arugula and pecans and it is a salad fit for company. In fact a friend of mine was visiting and I made it for her and she loved it. The pepperiness of arugula is a good counterpoint to the sweetness of the butternut squash and the nuts add a nice crunch to every bite. Goat cheese or feta cheese is a good tangy addition to the salad as well. [I did not add it since there was cheese in another dish that I had made that day.] Dressed with a good quality balsamic vinegar keeps the sweet theme going.

Roasted butternut squash and arugula salad

3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1  tablespoon coriander seeds crushed using a mortar and pestle
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 cup roasted salted pecans
3 cups chopped fresh baby arugula with the rounded leaves and not the wild pointed leaf arugula which is too bitter for this salad
2 teaspoon good quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon clover honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoon unfiltered olive oil (for the dressing) or extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In the meantime, toss the butternut squash with the extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, crushed coriander seeds, and chili flakes. Lay them in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 20 - 25 minutes in the middle rack till they are nicely caramelized at the edges. Remove from the oven and transfer to a salad bowl.
  2. Make a dressing with the balsamic vinegar, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the unfiltered olive oil. Mix the dressing into the roasted butternut squash and pecan mixture. Add the chopped arugula leaves and toss lightly. 
Serves 3.

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