Roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and roasted pepitas piled on top of a bed of baby kale. Drizzle this fall salad with cider vinaigrette and be amazed at the combination of flavors!
I think our long Indian summer has finally come to an end in Colorado. I couldn’t have dreamed of having more perfect weather up until today. Highs in the upper 70’s even in the 80’s on some days and nothing but sun! Even when we were in Aspen last week the weather cooperated and we were able to hike and enjoy a couple meals outside. Yep, I’m gonna miss those days.
Today all that loveliness has been replaced with cold, clouds, and rain. It’s 49 degrees, I’m in my warmest sweatshirt and yoga pants, slippers on, and considering flipping on the fireplace. My cats are curled up into balls and are wishing that I would just go ahead and turn on the fireplace for them. If the sun was out I wouldn’t feel like a bear getting ready for hibernation, but these clouds just make me want to curl up in a blanket and read a good book.
On days like this I crave big bowls of soup and warm fresh baked bread. Sadly that’s not what’s on the menu tonight. It’s my husband’s birthday, so dinner tonight was his choice and of course he chose pizza. I’m thankful he didn’t ask for anything grilled because I can’t imagine standing outside in the cold and rain grilling right now. Since I know he will be devouring most of the pizza, I’m also making this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cider Vinaigrette to supplement my lack of pizza.
I made this salad last week after I stocked my pantry with several butternut squashes. I absolutely love using squash in dishes this time of year and roasting it is one of my favorite ways to prepare it. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of squash and is perfect for adding to salads, pasta dishes, or just eating it straight from the pan right out of the oven.
Along with roasted butternut squash topping this salad you’ll find plenty of other goodies. Goat cheese, dried cranberries, pepitas, and of course a drizzle of the cider vinaigrette! The warm cider and maple flavors in this vinaigrette add a touch of fall to this salad with the perfect amount of sweetness, spice, and tang. I guarantee this salad will be featured on my Thanksgiving table this year!
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into about 1 inch cubes
- Extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper for roasting the squash
- 5 ounces baby kale
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Toss the cubed butternut squash on the prepared sheet pan with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast the squash in a single layer for about 15-20 minutes or until tender, tossing it around once with a spatula.
- Let the squash cool while you assemble the salad.
- In a large bowl add the baby kale and top with crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries, pepitas, and the butternut squash.
- Drizzle with the cider vinaigrette or serve it alongside the salad.
- In a small saucepan add the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
- Let it cook for about 8 minutes or until it has reduced to a 1/2 cup.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a jar or glass measuring cup.
- Whisk in the remaining vinaigrette ingredients then serve with the salad.
To prevent the salad from getting wilted or soggy don't add the vinaigrette until ready to serve or serve it alongside the salad.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 385mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 21g Protein: 7g