Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
From Ina Garten

If there was such a thing as a recipe going viral, this one would be up there with Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and the infamous “Bed Intruder” auto-tune.  We discovered it about a year and a half ago at a dinner party thrown by John’s family friends.  The minute we got home we Googled something along the lines of “salad warm squash omg yum!” and instantly found the recipe we were looking for.  Based on the number of blog posts and rave reviews, we knew we weren’t the first ones to discover this gem.  And then, like any good viral video, we just. couldn’t. stop. watching.  Er, I mean cooking.  We made it for ourselves.  Then immediately made it for my parents.  Then John’s parents, who had also been lured into the salad’s clutches at the original dinner party, made it as part of Christmas dinner.  We just. can’t. stop.  And for good reason.  The roasted squash itself is enough to hook you, but paired with the amazing warm vinaigrette, crisp, peppery arugula, and salty Parmesan…seriously, go make this salad!  But when you find yourself serving it at every dinner party from now until eternity, just remember, you were warned.


  • 1 1/2 lb peeled, diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp pepper, divided
  • 3 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup apple juice or apple cider (we’ve done it with both, doesn’t make much difference)
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp shallots, minced
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 4 oz baby arugula (this time we had spinach on hand – totally works if that’s what you’ve got, although I’d say arugula is marginally better)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (we grated it, but shavings would be fun too, just do it with a veggie peeler)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place squash on baking sheet.  Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Roast 30 minutes, or until tender, tossing once.  In the last 5 minutes, add cranberries to pan.
  4. Combine apple juice/cider, vinegar and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook 6-8 minutes, until cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon fine salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  6. Make individual salads or a shared salad by topping arugula with squash, cranberries, walnuts, cheese and dressing.

Serves 4-6.

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