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Monday, November 2, 2009

Butternut Squash Salad

I've had a butternut squash in my fridge for a week now, debating what to use it for. I've never cooked it before and wasn't sure if we would like it, so every time I thought of a use for it, I would end up making a tried and true recipe and forget the experimentation. Well yesterday we had plenty of pork carnitas in the fridge as a back up plan just in case the squash didnt work out but I shouldn't have worried. It was delicious. Butternut squash just tastes like fall food should, so warm and sweet and good.

Sorry for the dark picture, this is what happens when daylight ends at 5 pm now.

Butternut Squash Salad

Inspired by Bridget at The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Serves 4

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into bite-size chunks
3 T brown sugar
4 T olive oil, divided
1 T coarsely ground salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground mustard
6 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tsp dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss squash with brown sugar, 2 T olive oil, salt, ground mustard, and chili powder until evenly distributed and spread in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, add cranberries and pecans to pan. Continue baking about 5 more minutes.

Mix together apple cider and dijon mustard, slowly stream in remaining 2 T olive oil, whisking continuously. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon squash, cranberries and pecans over spinach and top with feta cheese and add dressing as desired.

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