‘Tis the Season for Salad

Sprinkled with cinnamon or blended for bisque, butternut squash has long been a favored ingredient in many wintertime sides. But roasted and tossed with crisp arugula, toasted walnuts and dried cranberries and then topped with a warm cider dressing, the seasonal squash and its fabulous fixings step up to the plate to turn a simple salad into a filling meal that’s bound to become a new classic on the holiday menu.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

For salad:
1 1 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

For dressing:
3/4 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. 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 pan for the last 5 minutes.

• While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, cider 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, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon 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. Serves 4.

Recipe by Ina Garten

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