I have a confession to make, my husband Chris cooks all of our main meals. This started about 5 years ago after the kids were all gone and he developed a keen interest in eating with a strong slant towards being vegetarians. This was all just fine with me, as after all the years I cooked for the family, I was gald for a change.. To keep things fair, I do most of the vegetable growing and clean up his messes.
This salad made with butternut squash is a favorite at our table. It really is the whole meal. Squash are quite easy to grow as long as you have a fair amount of space. Like all the squash family, the vines spread out quite far. If you don’t have room for squash then head out to your local farmers market and pick one up.
RECIPE FOR BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD
1 good size butternut squash / peeled and diced into 3/4 inch pieces
1TB of pure maple syrup
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3TB fresh diced cherries (de-pitted)
3/4 cup of apple cider or apple juice
2TB cider vinegar
2TB fresh minced shallots
2tsp Dijon mustard
4 ounces of baby arugula / washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnut halves / toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Oven to 400 degrees F.
Place squash on a sheet pan. Add 2TB olive oil, maple syrup,1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and toss. Roast squash for 15 to 20 minutes turning once, until tender. Add cherries to the pan for last 5 minutes.
Combine apple cider, vinegar and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until the cider is reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, 1/2cup olive oil, 1tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
Place arugula in a salad bowl and add roasted squash mixture, the walnuts and grated Parmesan. Spoon vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. Serve immediately.