I threw a fall themed shower for a dear friend of mine, Molly. She is due with her little guy, Griffin, October 25 and we all couldn't be more excited! To celebrate his arrival we threw a couples baby shower-- fall themed to usher in the seasonal excitement in the most festive way possible!
Food-wise I obviously thought about butternut squash-- what could be more fall-ish?! Initially I planned on doing a soup, but I actually figured with this crowd a salad would be even better-- it did not disappoint!
Butternut Squash Salad With Apple Cider Dressing
- 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and diced
- Good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (real stuff!)
- handful of dried cranberries
- approximately 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- approximately 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- approximately 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 ounces baby arugula, spring mix or whatever leafy greens, washed and spun dry
- 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted or glazed
- (I also think a handful of pomegranate seeds would be awesome)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan and make sure chunks aren't too big. Toss with olive oil, the maple syrup, and salt. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, 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, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, olive oil, and salt. ** This is what the formal recipe calls for-- I just eyeballed and added apple juice, apple cider vinegar, dijon, salt, and olive oil, mixed it and tasted until I liked the flavor. No boiling or anything, turned out delicious.
Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl and spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan (if desired). Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds if desired.