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Author Notes: The quintessential fall salad. Feel free to swap out any of the salad toppings here, or use what lettuce you prefer if you're not into arugula! The dressing keeps in the fridge for about 5 days, and it is nice warmed up a little in the microwave before serving. You can also store the roasted squash in the fridge for up to a week, making this salad an easy one to quickly throw together any day of the week. —gabsimonelouise
For the salad:
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 8 ounces arugula
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, optional
For the dressing:
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°. Toss squash with oil and maple syrup in a large baking pan. Roast until the squash is easily pierced with a fork, 25-30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- While squash is roasting, combine apple, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often and adding more water if the pan starts to dry out. The apples are done once they are easily mashed with a potato masher. Mash the apples (it's ok if there are some chunks), then add the vinegar and shallots to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to about 1/4 cup. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper. The dressing should be thick and it is ok if there are chunks of cooked apple. Let the dressing cool to room temperature (it is also excellent on the salad if it's still a bit warm, so if you're being impatient...)
- In a large serving bowl, toss the arugula with the dressing and top with squash, cranberries, pecans, and blue cheese if using. Serve immediately.