Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad


Theres no better way to enjoy "harvest season" than to chow down on a few jewels from the farmers' market.  Here on the Jersey Shore, squash have taken over!  You cant avoid them.  They insist on going home with you.  

For Pam's Birthday dinner, I wanted to make a very colorful salad to counter her tan & brown dinner; Orecchiette with Sausage & Greens.  (Click here for the recipe post)  Its her favorite dinner and so super easy & quick that I had to muster some culinary creativity.  I decided to let the butternuts have their way.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves, about 4 cups  ( I added some mixed baby lettuces too)
  • dried cranberries, about 1/4 cup
  • pine nuts, about 1/4 cup, toasted
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • "Pam" cooking spray

For the dressing.  Whisk or shake together the following:

  • 2 clementine oranges, juiced
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce (found in the Asian Section of your Grocery Store)
  • Olive Oil, about 3 tbsp.
  • Salt & pepper

What you'll do:

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees, while you prepare the squash.  Once its cubed, toss onto a "Pam -sprayed" baking sheet with maple syrup, salt & pepper.  Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.  Then turn the oven to broil for 5 minutes to get a little char on them. (the charring is optional)

2.  Meanwhile, in a dry skillet on medium heat, toast the pine nuts until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

3.   In a large bowl or serving platter, toss together spinach, squash, pine nuts, onion, and dried cranberries.   Add dressing and combine.

No need to let the squash or nuts cool completely, if the spinach wilts a bit under the heat all the better.

Enjoy your butternuts!

xo & a pinch,