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Author Notes: It is not Thanksgiving unless we have a squash dish. I love roasted squash, and think that the addition of cranberries adds a lovely touch. Most people don't eat enough fruit as it is, so this is a great way to enjoy both fruits and veggies at the same time. The toasted walnuts add an interesting crunch, and the vinaigrette lends a savory sweet note. This salad is best served warm or at room temperature. —gr8chefmb
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
- 1 pound fresh beets, peeled and ends trimmed, cut into 1” cubes
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2-3/4” chunks
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 cup toasted walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Drizzle oil over squash and beets in separate bowls, and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly. Place squash and beets on separate rimmed baking sheets; place in oven. Roast for 15-25 minutes, or just until fork tender, turning once.
- Place cranberries and apples into 2-quart saucepan along with orange juice and zest. Place over medium heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or just until apples are just barely fork tender and cranberries just start popping open. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oil, maple syrup, mustard, salt, pepper and reserved cooking liquid. Set aside.
- Stack spinach on top of each other and roll tightly. Slice crosswise into thin slices. Toss spinach chiffonade together with squash, beets, cranberry/apple mixture, walnuts and vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl. Place on a serving plate and serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side
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