Roasted Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad

My sister says I am in a salad dressing rut. I rarely venture from my Balsamic Vinaigrette and when I do, it’s for Ranch. Truth be told, I have been in a severe salad rut. Lettuce, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, croutons, (I like a lot of crunch), grated cheese, cucumber, and dressing. Day after day, week after week . . . month after month.

So I mixed it up! I have had Tracy from Shutterbean’s recipe pinned for ages, tempting me. The stars aligned and I had butternut squash and arugula at the same time.

First time making salad dressing: it was easy!

Dressing ingredients and squash ready for roasting.

I love roasted butternut squash by itself or mixed in with a risotto.

I added in a little bacon to soften the blow of no real “main dish” for dinner.

My husband and sister still complained about only having a “side dish.” Hey, at least it was an amazing one! ;) Next time I will probably serve grilled or pan-fried steaks and French bread to accompany this delicious and beautiful salad.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Arugula Salad

Recipe adapted from Shutterbean

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cups orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced shallot
  • 2 Teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 8 Ounces baby arugula
  • 3/4 cups grated fresh parmesan
  • 1/2 cup toasted nuts (optional, I used honey-roasted almonds)
  • 1/4 cup diced cooked bacon (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut into 1 inch cubes.
Toss the squash cubes together with the honey and 2 tablespoons olive oil on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn squash with a spatula, add the cranberries, and continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes or until fork tender.
While the squash bakes, whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, and shallots in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the mixture reduces by about half.
Remove from heat. Add the mustard, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, whisking until well blended.
In a large bowl, combine the arugula, squash, cranberries, nuts, bacon, parmesan, and enough dressing to lightly coat everything.
Enjoy!
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