Roasted butternut squash salad tossed with arugula (or other baby greens of your choice) and embellished with pumpkin seeds proves that a few well chosen ingredients can produce a wow factor. Butternut squash roasted with soy sauce and maple syrup makes a beautiful salad that’s absolutely addictive. It’s easy enough for everyday meals and festive enough for fall and winter special occasions.
Pre-cut fresh butternut squash for convenience: This recipe is prepared with convenient fresh pre-cut butternut squash, often found in the supermarket produce section in fall and winter. If you want to make this from a fresh whole squash, by all means! See instructions following:
How to prepare whole butternut squash
Preheat the oven to 375º F.
Use a medium-size (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds) butternut squash for this salad. in half lengthwise. Place the halves cut side up in a baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water, and cover each half tightly with foil. Bake until easily pierced with a knife but still firm, about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and size of squash used.
If you don’t have a knife sharp enough to cut the squash in half, simply wrap the whole squash foil, place them in a casserole dish, and bake until it can be pierced through the narrow part, but is still firm.
When the cool enough to handle, scoop out and discard the seeds. Peel the squashes and cut into 1-inch chunks. This can be done ahead of time. See more about this technique in How to Cut Butternut Squash Easily.
Get to know arugula: Though its flavor is more assertive, arugula is similar to spinach in the ways it can be used, and can be interchanged with it in many dishes, or it can be used to replace part of the amount of spinach called for.
Like other dark leafy greens, arugula is a nutrient dense food. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, K, and folate. As far as minerals, it’s particularly rich in calcium and potassium. It’s a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Here’s more about its nutritional profile. See lots more in this site’s Guide to Arugula, with Tips and Easy, Tasty Recipes.
This appetizing salad goes well with: Bean and/or grain dishes, pastas, and tortilla specialties.
- 18 to 20-ounce package fresh pre-cut butternut squash (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari, or to taste
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash or Frontier)
- 2 to 3 big handfuls of baby arugula (or baby greens: spinach, spring mix, or power greens)
- Vinaigrette as desired (homemade, or try raspberry vinaigrette)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425º F.
- Combine the squash chunks in a mixing bowl with the syrup, soy sauce, olive oil and seasoning blend. Stir together and transfer to a parchment-lined roasting pan.
- Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until nicely glazed and starting to brown, stirring once or twice.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Combine the greens in a serving bowl or on a platter with vinaigrette, as needed to moisten. Stir the roasted squash in with the greens and add a few grindings of pepper.
- Top with pumpkin seeds and optional cranberries and serve.
Using pre-cut butternut squash is so handy. You’ll find this kind of prepped squash in the produce section of well stocked supermarkets. However, if you’d like to prepare your own butternut squash, see some tips above this recipe box.
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Here are more tasty vegan salads & sides.
Photos, top and middle: Ok.sana/Bigstock