Monday, December 1, 2008

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Pecans and Warm Cider Vinaigrette and Liz's Bowtie Pasta Salad

I love salad. And if you have been reading my blog recently, you will know that I love squash. I recently bought The Barefoot Contessa's new Cookbook- Back to Basics, and this butternut salad was the first thing that caught my eye. (The Chive Risotto cakes I made last week were another that looked fabulous) I decided to try the salad when we were celebrating my baby's birthday last week and I loved it. I used pecans instead of walnuts, because I love pecans and made a few other changes, but it was really good. And really pretty- all the colors and flavors were wonderful together.
Liz's Bowtie Pasta Salad was a salad that we sampled at a get together a couple of weeks ago. My husband actually told me that he loved it and so I had to get the recipe. Trust me, if he ever tells me such information and the food didn't come from McDonalds, I am making it at home. I got the recipe and changed it a little. I reduced the amount of mayo and miracle whip and used fat-free mayo, which resulted in a little less dressing, but it was still enough. I also used the mini bowties, because they are so cute.
I dressed a little bit of the salad with Light Balsamic Vinaigrette, but we all liked it better with the mayo dressing, which is saying something, because I am not a fan of mayo, usually. So, if you need a salad, try one of these- they are crowd pleasers!

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
from Barefoot Contessa- Back to Basics
1- 1 1/2 pd butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
good olive oil
1 Tbls pure maple syrup
salt and pepper
3 Tbls dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 Tbls cider vinegar
2 Tbls minced shallots
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 oz baby arugula, washed and spun dry (I used mixed greens that included arugula)
1/2 walnut halves, toasted (I used pecans)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used aged Asiago and reduced the amount)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (I roasted mine at 425 degrees)
Place squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 Tbls olive oil (I used 1 Tbls), the maple syrup, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Toss. Roast squash for 15-20 minutes (I added 10 more minutes to the roasting time), turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Place the arugula in a large bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Liz's Bowtie, Peas, and Bacon Salad by Liz Harris
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and chilled
16 oz. box bowtie pasta, cooked and drained (I used the mini bowtie pasta)
1/2 c. fat-free mayo
a couple Tbls miracle whip
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 t. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 bag peas ( thawed)
6 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small bag parmesan cheese
Combine lettuce and bowtie pasta in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine mayo, miracle whip, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the peas, bacon, green onions, and parmesan cheese to the lettuce/pasta mixture. Toss lightly. Add the mayo mixture to the lettuce and mix until mayo dressing evenly covers the lettuce. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve

Coming Tomorrow- TWD- Linzer Sables


The Blonde Duck said...

I'm all about the Linzer treats coming up tommorrow! Hooray!

Maria said...

I love salads and these look fantastic!!

Cathy said...

I can't get enough butternut squash lately, and your salad looks fabulous! I can't wait to hear about your linzer sables tomorrow!

Pamela said...

I just read about this recipe tonight and it sounds delicious! Looks mighty fine, too.

Audrey and the Boys said...

YUMMY! I can't wait to try the squash salad! I love butternut but have never used it that way!

Alexa said...

What a fun way to serve squash! Both salads look great and creative.