This beautiful Barefoot Contessa recipe is perfect for the holidays. If you are hosting vegetarians, this can serve as a satisfying main course as well. I put her exact recipe below, but I actually made a few slight changes. I used about 1/4 cup olive oil instead of 1/2 cup. Also, I forgot to put the cranberries in the oven, so I just added them raw. To toast the walnuts, I put them in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Peeling a dicing a raw butternut squash is not on my list of favorite activities. However, super sharp knives help to do the trick. We recently got our knives sharpened by the good people at A Cook’s Companion. It was long overdue, and I am so glad we did it. It made the dicing process a whole lot easier.
- 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
- Good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
- 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
- Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.