Roasted Butternut Squash Salad from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

In The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime, Ree Drummond at last answers that age-old question—“What’s for Dinner?”—bringing together more than 135 simple, scrumptious, step-by-step recipes for delicious dinners the whole family will love. We’re exciting that her new cookbook is on sale now. We’ve already come up with a slew of recipes we’d love to try. Purchase a copy from your favorite retailer or order a special signed edition from Books-A-Million.

Although salad for dinner can be a tasty and virtuous choice, it’s easy to get stuck in a salad rut! This Roasted Butternut Squash Salad from Ree’s new book will mean the end to dull salads at home. It’s a perfect salad for fall, incorporating rich butternut squash, fresh cheese, and sweet balsamic vinegar. We can’t wait to incorporate it into our rotation this season.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD

Roasted Butternut Squash SaladMAKES 6 SERVINGS

I had a roasted butternut squash dish at the Purple Pig in Chicago a while back, and it was so beautiful in its simplicity, I knew I had to make it as soon as I returned to the ranch and unpacked my clothes, which of course was fourteen years after I returned to the ranch.

I hate unpacking. Have I ever told you that before?

Anyway, at the restaurant, the squash was served in a little crock as a side dish. At home, I decided to sprinkle it on top of salad greens . . . and it has become one of my favorite salads ever!

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cups mixed salad greens
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the pine nuts in a small skillet over low heat and slowly toast them, stirring, until they’re golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set them aside off the heat.
  3. To prepare the butternut squash, lop off the top and bottom. Then use a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the hard skin. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Slice the squash into sticks and then slice the sticks into cubes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet or saucepan over low heat. Skim off as much of the foam as you can. Place the squash in a bowl and pour in the melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread the squash out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast it for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during baking. Crank up the heat to 400°F and roast for 15 minutes or so, until the squash is sizzling and golden brown around the edges. Set the pan aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the Parmesan and toss it quickly so the cheese doesn’t melt. Then pour the squash into a bowl and toss in the pine nuts.
  7. Mix the balsamic with the olive oil and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. Put the salad greens in a bowl and toss with half the dressing. Serve the extra dressing on the side. Add the squash mixture and lightly toss it in.

VARIATIONS

Use baby spinach instead of salad greens.

Use thinly sliced kale (as prepared on page 41).

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