Butternut squash are a real pain-in-the-ass to peel.
They look innocent enough--with their pale orange skin and cute oblong shape. But damn, that skin is thick! However, once you manage to fight your way through the skin, I have learned that you will be rewarded with a beautiful, bright, orange flesh that becomes so tender and sweet once you cook it.
This was my first time cooking butternut squash, and I decided to just cube the flesh and roast it in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle over a nice bed of romaine--or even better, peppery, spicy arugula--and you have yourself a colorful, filling salad.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
with balsamic vinaigrette , candied walnuts, applewood smoked bacon, and fresh raspberries
I don't have exact measures for the ingredients. It all kind of depends on how much salad you're making and the amount of toppings you prefer. I just came up with this combination based on what I had on hand. I lightly roasted the walnuts in a small non-stick skillet with a sprinkling of sugar. This resulted in a warm toasty nut that wasn't coated with an obscene amount of sugar. However, the salty, crunchy bacon made all the difference! It provided a really nice contrast to the sweet, soft butternut squash.
My beautiful toppings, waiting to be scattered across a bed of lettuce. The balsamic dressing I used was also very simple--just a quick whisking of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Definitely try this salad with arugula. It is the perfect combination!