Thursday, October 1, 2009

Roasted butternut squash and apple salad

Now that the skies have finally cleared and a little bit of fall nip is in the air, I couldn’t resist whipping up something with a fall veggie. Butternut squash just screams fall to me, so I chose a roasted butternut squash and apple salad from epicurious.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Salad

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Bon App├ętit | December 2008

by Bruce Aidells

Yield: Makes 10 servings

INGREDIENTS

Dressing:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salad:
Olive oil
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
2 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
Coarse kosher salt
4 heads of Belgian endive, root ends trimmed, leaves separated into individual leaves
2 unpeeled Fuji apples, halved, cored, cut into matchstick-size strips
8 ounces blue cheese (such as Maytag), coarsely crumbled
1/2 cup dried cranberries

PREPARATION

For dressing:

Whisk vinegar and lemon juice in small bowl; gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.

For salad:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush 2 large rimmed baking sheets with oil; spray with nonstick spray. Whisk vinegar and sugar in small bowl; set aside. Cut squash halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange squash in single layer on prepared sheets; brush with oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Roast 5 minutes; brush with sugar-vinegar mixture. Turn squash over and brush with sugar-vinegar mixture; roast 5 minutes. Roast until squash is tender when pierced with small knife, about 15 minutes longer. Cool on sheets. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Arrange 5 to 6 endive leaves on each of 10 plates. Place butternut squash slices in center of each plate. Scatter apples, cheese, and cranberries over squash. Drizzle dressing over and serve.

I often forget how hard it is to prep squash. Peeling one takes ages and makes a mess, but after roasting their sugary sweet flesh is like a veggie dessert, and it’s totally worth the effort (although I’m still not jonesing to tackle one again anytime soon!)

All in all, this recipe is pretty time consuming for a salad, but the end result looks lovely and elaborate and tastes even better. We served on the side of a store bought rotisserie chicken, but it was clearly the main event. No idea who’d have time to make this and another dish! Next up brussels sprouts!

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