Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Before Thanksgiving, as I was deciding on my side dishes, I came across the most delightful combination that included roasted Butternut Squash.  Greens, cran-raisins, feta, butternut squash and crispy bacon, arranged in separate piles, made up the patter of goodness. It was a feast for the eyes and I decided then and there that I’d be making a roasted butternut squash salad,  asap.

My favorite winter squash is acorn, but this week….it’s butternut. I have a salad I make year round.  I switch up the ingredients to keep it interesting. It’s standard fare here, most of the time, but, I think I’m going to have to make a change, at least through the Winter.  Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Bacon and Maple Vinaigrette is on the way to being our favorite winter salad. It’ll be yours , too!

Butternut Squash

How pretty. Don’t you think? First things, first. Buy a butternut squash, peel and cut into 1 inch pieces.  For easy peeling, cut both ends off, pierce with fork all over and microwave for 3 1/2 minutes. Cut in half, remove seeds and membrane, peel. Cut into one inch pieces.

Toss with 2Tbls olive oil, 2 Tbls maple syrup, salt and pepper, dust with nutmeg. Roast in shallow pan for 30-40 minutes until squash begins to brown slightly. Remove from oven. Brush lightly with additional maple syrup. Add cran-raisins during the last 12 minutes of baking.

Maple Roasted Butternut Sqaush6

While squash is roasting cook bacon until crispy, drain. Reserve bacon drippings for the vinaigrette.   Wash and drain, blot dry,  spinach or greens of your choice. Arrange on platter or plate.

In a small sauce pan, mix 3-4 Tablespoons of bacon drippings with 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, and 2-3 Tablespoons of apple sider vinegar. Cook until sugar melts and all is combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

To plate, add greens topped with roasted butternut squash, add bacon, cran-raisins, toasted pecans, bacon and crumbled Blue Cheese. Dress with Bacon and Maple Vinaigrette. Enjoy!

 

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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Bacon and Maple Vinaigrette may be your favorite new salad, too!

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup cran-raisins
  • Blue Cheese crumbles
  • 4 strips of bacon fried, reserving drippings
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Bacon and Maple Vinaigrette:
  • 3-4 Tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup...plus additional syrup
  • 2-3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel squash and cut into 1 inch squares. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. salt and pepper. Dust with nutmeg. Roast 30-40 minutes until slightly brown. Add cran-raisins during last few minutes. (12)
  2. Remove from oven and baste with additional maple syrup. Set aside.
  3. Cook Bacon while squash is roasting.
  4. Top spinach with squash, blue cheese, pecans, cran-raisins, and bacon.
  5. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in small saucepan and heat until sugar is melted and all is combined. Adjust taste with salt and pepper and additional vinegar if needed. Cook 2-3 minutes. Drizzle warm over salad. Enjoy!
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