Butternut Squash, Feta and Pine Nut Salad

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

I made both this simple fall salad and the tomato and corn recipe last week. It's that time of year when meals are transitioning from summer foods (heirloom tomatoes) to fall ones (butternut squash), and a combination of baby arugula, butternut squash, feta, red onion and pine nuts seemed to be just right for the season

Butternut Squash, Feta and Pine Nut Salad
(serves 4)

1 medium butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 of a red onion, sliced paper thin
1/4 feta cheese, crumbled
10 oz baby arugula
3 T. pine nuts
homemade vinaigrette*

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Rinse and spin the arugula very dry. Place in fridge to keep it crisp.

3.. Meanwhile, soak the red onion in cold water to remove some of its bite.

4.. Prepare the squash: Cut off the stem and base of the squash and use a heavy-duty peeler or a pairing knife to remove the skin. Then slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into a 1/2-inch dice.
5. Cook the squash: Toss the squash in a large bowl with the olive oil and generous seasoning of salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread onto two baking sheets so that the pieces of the squash are not touching (this will help them to get nice and caramelized, not mushy). Roast for 30 minutes, stirring the squash halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
6. Toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat until fragrant and golden, 2 to 4 minutes (be careful not to let them burn!). Let cool.
7. Drain the onions and pat dry with a dish towel or paper towels.
8. Put everything into a large salad bowl and toss well with homemade vinaigrette.

* My homemade vinaigrette is a mixture of about 2 T. good dijon mustard, 1/3 c. white wine vinegar, 1 c. olive oil, a pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, which I shake up in a glass jar with a lid.



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