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Butternut Squash Salad

October 20, 2009

- Amanda

This past weekend, on a trek to Chelsea Market in Manhattan with a friend and our kids, we stopped in for lunch at Buon Italia, an Italian grocery store that many of the citiy's chefs turn to for esoteric and high-quality Italian ingredients. I couldn't stop thinking about one of the dishes we had, a butternut squash antipasto. The squash had been sliced into ribbons so that it looked like pappardelle, and then these ribbons seemed to have been roasted -- there were browned edges -- and yet not quite cooked through -- some had a great little crunch. They tasted candied but were doused with plenty of vinegar.

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Transfixed and determined, I got in the kitchen, and now you, too, can make this salad....

Butternut Squash Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 small butternut squash, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

1. Using a mandoline or a vegetable peeler, slice the butternut squash halves crosswise into thin strips (they should be thin enough to bend into a "u" shape). You will need 6 cups.

2. Spread the strips on two baking sheets. Sprinkle with the sugar and season generously with salt. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

3. Sprinkle the squash strips and garlic cloves with the olive oil, just enough to dress the strips. Toss to coat both sides. Bake until the edges begin to curl (some should brown lightly) and the strips are just barely cooked through (a little crunch is good), 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

4. Gather up the squash strips and arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the vinegar, thyme and pepper. Toss lightly. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more oil, vinegar and salt as needed.

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Deborah D. November 3, 2009
This looks so pretty, and I love butternut squash! A great use for my Titan peeler too!
mcvl October 22, 2009
Man oh man, I just fixed this for my husband and me. Outstanding! My technique in cutting the strips with a vegetable peeler started out pretty weak -- lots of jagged little chips -- but gradually improved to where I was making true strips. I served the curls as a separate course because my instinct was they were going to be stars. Were they ever.
Maria T. October 21, 2009
I already left a comment before but want to say once again this is a really fabulous recipe. Thanks Amanda.
Veronica October 20, 2009
Gorgeous photo--can't wait to try this!
mrslarkin October 20, 2009
Always nice to see a recipe for butternut squash besides soup. This sounds so delicious and easy. I'm guessing you roasted the garlic in with the squash? I sometimes do red pepper slices this way too. A great sweet/sour side dish.
Amanda H. October 20, 2009
Thanks for pointing this out -- the garlic is roasted with the squash. I added this detail to the recipe. Hope you enjoy it!