Roasted Squash Salad with Marcona Almonds, Apple, and Cider Vinaigrette

Roasted Squash Salad with Marcona Almonds, Apple, and Cider Vinaigrette
Serves 6
  1. One 2-3 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1⁄2” dice
  2. Olive oil
  3. 1 small bunch fresh thyme leaves
  4. 1 shallot clove, minced (about 2 T.)
  5. 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  6. 1 t. honey
  7. 5 T. vegetable oil
  8. 1⁄2 t. mustard seeds
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. 3 heads romaine lettuce, sliced 1” across
  11. 2 Gala (or other sweet eating apple), cut into 1⁄2” dice
  12. 1/3 C. Marcona almonds
  13. 1/4th large red onion, thinly sliced
Roast the squash
  1. Spill the squash dice onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper. Divide the thyme bunch into several smaller bunches and arrange on top of the squash. Place in preheated 400 oven and roast, stirring once, until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Discard any thyme stems.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette
  1. Combine the shallot, cider vinegar and honey in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Stream in the vegetable oil, whisking to emulsify. Add the mustard seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand several hours at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed just before serving.
Prepare the salad ingredients
  1. Arrange the romaine on a large serving platter. Tumble the cooled squash pieces on top of the greens. Strew the apple dices, almonds, and onion over. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.
  1. Advance preparations: The apples can be diced up to one hour prior to service and placed in the bowl with the vinaigrette to prevent oxidation. (Store in the refrigerator.)
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