I’ve discovered my love for butternut squash lately. Like seriously – I am roasting it and putting it in everything! So when one of my best friends requested I post a fall salad, this Roasted Butternut Squash Arugula Salad was a sure thing.
This salad is so simple and delicious, perfect for fall gatherings or even as a healthy and filling take-along lunch for work or school since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. In fact, it’s best when served warm.
In the fall and winter, I start to crave warm foods as the weather shifts to cooler temperatures. In the past, I have noticed my eating habits in the winter suffer nutritionally because I stop eating as many salads and fresh greens. This year will be different. I’ve started making more recipes with green vegetables, like these Roasted Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts, that I crave all-year-round. Adding warm ingredients are a great way to keep the salad eating going all year. This salad is perfect for a chilly cozy fall evening!
Seriously… Can we take a moment to appreciate the toasted and sugared pecans in this recipe!
Simply toast raw pecans in a skillet, remove and add olive oil and brown sugar, and then add the pecans back in a toss! It’s the easiest and most fool-proof method to perfect toasty, caramelized pecans every time.
- 1 (1½-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
- Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 5 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried
- ½ cup walnuts halves, toasted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ cup fresh Parmesan shavings
- Optional: add dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- Toss butternut squash cubes in 1.5 tablespoons olive oil, maple syrup, teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once. You don’t want it to get mushy, just tender.
- While roasting, prepare your pecans by heating a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add pecans and toss or stir until toasty and fragrant, being careful not to burn. Remove from skillet.
- To the same skillet add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp brown sugar and stir to combine. Then add pecans back in plus a pinch of salt and toss for a minute or two until fully coated and fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool, spreading to make sure they don’t stick together.
- Combine the apple 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 ¼ cup. Off the heat, whisk in the honey, ½ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
- Divide arugula equally into four individual bowls (can also be made into one large bowl for family style gatherings). Once butternut squash is done, toss it right into the bowl along with the pecans.
- Lastly, mix together honey, apple juice, cider vingear, pure ma. Add more salt or pepper if desired. Serve immediately. If not vegan or dairy-free