Fall Fest 2010: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

by Cate on October 26, 2010

Fall Salad - Dig In

When I saw that this week’s Fall Fest theme was Mad Stash, with an interpretation towards “what do you want to eat a lot of before it’s gone for the season…,” I knew exactly what I was going to write about.  The salad we had for dinner on Sunday night.  Company for dinner, every Sunday, and this past weekend, I was brave and rolled out four new recipes.  All four were good.  This salad one with the dressing?  Stellar.  Absolutely positively stellar.  And the ingredient I will miss when it’s out of season?  Butternut squash.  Another important ingredient in the salad.  There were five kids at the table.  Every single one of them ate this salad.  Even those that claimed to not like butternut squash the week before.  Nobody pushed it aside.  Everyone went back for more.  It was that good.  Between the deliciously roasted squash … to the sharp bite of the Gorgonzola … to the peppery taste from the arugula … to the sweetness of the dressing.  It all collided together into one magical chorus of Fall.

Make this.  Make it often.  It’s like taking the very best flavors and memories of Fall and putting it on a plate.   And outside of the roasting of the squash, it takes five minutes to prepare.  You can handle that, right?

Need more Mad Stash inspiration?  Check out what my fellow Fall Festers are serving up tonight (some links might not be live until tomorrow am):

Alison at Food2: Break Out the Stash

Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Spiced Pear Butter

Kirsten at Food Network: Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Liz at Healthy Eats: Mad Squash Stash

Michelle at Cooking Channel: Save Em’ While You Can

Caroline at the Wright Recipes: Brandied Apple Butter

Alana at Eating From the Ground Up: Chest Freezers and Why They’re Fabulous

Caron at San Diego Foodstuff: Single Woman’s Refrigerator Sauce (link coming soon)

Todd and Diane: Persimmons (link coming soon)

Project 365
October 26, 2010, Photo #191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, and 197

Wall Art

Aren’t those adorable? Madeline’s footprints are the second from the left.

Her school had their Halloween party today and I left my camera with them so they could capture what I was missing.

Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin

They played Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin.

Candy Collectors Ready to Go

They decorated milk jugs and after some targeted hits on a pinata, they used the milk jugs to scoop up the candy that fell.


The little boy on the right is Chaze, and he’s in Madeline’s class. Every morning I drop her off, I sit down with her for a few minutes and as soon as I put my keys down, he makes a beeline for them and always presses the button I say not to. You know, the one that automatically starts my car. And when I leave to go to work, he runs up and fends off Madeline to give me kisses and hugs, clinging to my legs. Yesterday he accidentally called me Mommy. It’s very cute. When I pick her up, he races towards me, trying to sneak out with her. Because I’m certain I wouldn’t notice an extra little body following me. He is hugging his brother, and Chaze’s other brother (Spiderman’s twin) is in the back right in the blue Thomas costume. They’re all very sweet and looked at all the pictures I had on my camera, to approve each one.

My Very Favorite Theme

As I was leaving her school today, I noticed yesterday’s theme. Love it!

Group Shot 2010

Madeline’s teacher is on the right side dressed as Mary Poppins. Chaze is the skeleton on the right side in the front. Too cute. Very boy heavy classes this year!  And, of course, my little cutie in the center.  I have heavily bribed her to wear the wig for more than 30 seconds come Sunday.  We’ll see how successful that ends up being.

Me and My Girl

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of Eats Well with Others, who got it from Got No Milk, who adapted it from a Nigella Lawson recipe

1-1/2 lb butternut squash cut into 3/4 inch dice
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
3/4 cup apple cider (from a recent farmers’ market trip)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 shallot, diced (I skipped)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted (I skipped)
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (I used Gorgonzola)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450.  Grease the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil or spray it with cooking spray.  Put the butternut squash dice on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pop in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.

2. In a small pan, combine the apple cider, cider vinegar, and shallot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce until liquid amounts to about 1/4 cup (about 6-8 minutes).

3. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, olive oil, and maple syrup.  Whisk in 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.

4. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Toss with butternut squash, walnuts, and Gorgonzola.  Add just enough vinaigrette to coat the arugula leaves.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Betsy October 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Great pics. That salad looks great. There is a similar salad on the CLBB that I just recently ready reviews about. I think it was an Ina Garten recipe. Received rave reviews. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette (hmmm, same name??) This one had parm.

If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of camera do you use.

Thanks. Oh, loved your post about making time for yourself, to rejuvenate etc.


Joanne October 27, 2010 at 6:19 am

Yay! I love that you made this and am SOOO happy that you liked it. It really is one of my most favorite salads ever. I really need to buy more arugula and get to making it again.

Madeline looks adorable in her strawberry shortcake costume. It’s sparked some ideas for next year…


Prerna@IndianSimmer October 27, 2010 at 10:24 am

Work and busy life kept me away from posting a fall fest recipe for a while but I’m glad I was able to do it this week. Here’s my contribution to mad stash http://bit.ly/bT3Vsb


Rachel October 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I love your interpretation of “mad stash”. use it or lose it!
I was so excited to see that this week’s Fall Fest centered on preserving! I’m just getting into it and really enjoy it.
Here’s my recipe for Cranberry Conserve: http://muffinegg.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/cranberry-conserve-bright-crunchy-stowed-away-for-winter/


sandhya@vegetarianirvana October 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I love apple cider dressing.
Here is what I did with my herbs, that wiil surely not survive in the cold, made a Thai stock with them.


Ramona October 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Looks like a lot of fun!


Purple Cook October 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm

For Fall Fest:
In my constant pursuit to make as much of our food from scratch as possible, but still meet the demands of a busy family life, I came up with this method for having frozen French Fries on hand.

Farm Fresh Frozen French Fries


Kathleen October 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I live in Florida and the Stash is not that often. I made a wonderful berry sauce for cakes, ice cream, etc. for this week:


Cate O'Malley October 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

Betsy – you’re right, there are definitely a lot of very similar salads and Ina’s is one of them. Such a great flavor profile. My camera is a Nikon D60.


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