Sunday, August 1, 2010

Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad

From: Bon Appetit culinary series, Sur La Table cooking class

This salad is absolutely delicious, a wonderful start or side to a fall meal. Often I find arugula too bitter, but when paired with these ingredients, it's perfect. The roasted butternut squash is amazing.

Serves: 6


  • One 2lb butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 and 1/2 to 5 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp of walnut oil or other nut oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 ounces of arugula (about 8 cups lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses (this is a thick pomegranate syrup that is honestly hard to find- apparently it's in some Middle Eastern markets- ummm....where are they?- and online at - it's delicious, so if you end up finding it, I'd buy some; if not, you can try substituting other items as a dressing- a balsamic vinegrette may work, but it's not as good...)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss squash, olive oil, and crushed red pepper on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast for 15 min. Using spatula, turn squash over. Continue roasting until edges are brown and squash is tender, about 15 more min. Sprinkle with more coarse salt. Note: This can be done 2 hrs ahead, and let stand at room temp.
  2. Whisk orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in a large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add arugula, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds (or cranberries) and toss to coat.
  3. Spoon the warm or room temperature squash over the salad. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses and serve.
Notes: I'd actually recommend buying the pomegranate molasses. It's only 5 bucks online, and wow, it really makes the salad. It's a unique ingredient that could be used in other dishes as well to add a nice pop. This is an easy salad to make, with the only real time commitment being the squash. If you're having trouble cutting it, you can cook it a little bit (about 10 min) to soften. Also, note the "do ahead" option if you are having guests over and don't want to be cooking and entertaining.

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