A few years ago, I was a barista at a vegan bakery when the position for savory cook opened up. When I expressed interest in it, the manager asked me to go into the back, look at the available ingredients, and make the salad for the day out of what I found. I pulled this salad out of my imagination and got the job. - Syronai —beyondcelery
Test Kitchen Notes
Deliciously savory and sweet with a lovely nutty crunch -- I love this type of salad where warm and cold elements are combined. I think it's fine on its own but would enhance a simple roasted chicken. I am tempted to add some feta, queso fresco, or goat cheese another time. It also has the makings for a savory pie/tart filling. This salad has versatility! It is a keeper. —testkitchenette
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Halve butternut squash, scoop out seeds, skin, and chop into 1-inch cubes. Arrange on a baking sheet, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, and roast in hot oven until tender (about 20 - 30 minutes).
In a large bowl, make the dressing by combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chipotle, salt, ginger, and allspice. Set aside.
While squash is roasting, spread pecans out on baking sheet and toast them in the same oven until fragrant. Keep an eye on them; they'll be done in about 5 - 8 minutes. Toss hot roasted pecans directly into dressing and listen to the delightful sizzle (this will cook off some of the vinegar so it doesn't get too strong).
Cut apples into quarters, remove the cores, and slice lengthwise into moderately thin slices (about 1/8-inch). Add apple slices and toss into dressing as you go to prevent them from discoloring. Toss in currants with the apples.
When butternut squash is tender, remove from oven and let it rest about 10 minutes. Toss it in with the rest of the salad and serve warm or cold, depending on preference. This salad will be best if you allow the apples, nuts, and spices to cure together at least 20 minutes while the squash is roasting.