On a recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina, hubby and I visited a fun little store called Olive & Kickin’. It’s a vinegar and olive oil tasting room, and we had such a good time tasting all the different flavors. By the time we finished tasting (and buying), we ended up shipping a full box back home! One of my favorite vinegars I purchased was the Cranberry Pear White Balsamic, and I couldn’t wait to get back home and figure out a way to use it! I found a roasted squash salad by Giada De Laurentiis that happened to call for a white balsamic vinaigrette to be drizzled over hot roasted squash. It sounded delicious, so I decided that would be my experimental dish for my new vinegar. I made several changes to the original recipe, but in the end, it was not only a beautiful salad, but delicious as well. There are so many varieties of white balsamic vinegars to choose from out there, and they would all be good on this salad. I’ve used a peach flavored one that was excellent! Experiment and see what you like best!
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cherries & Pistachios
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups baby arugula
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup roasted pistachios
- Crumbled gorgonzola cheese (to taste)
Preheat oven to 400°.
For vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together in large bowl, and set aside.
Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up. Place sliced squash on the pan and drizzle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing well. Arrange the squash in single layer, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, and immediately drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette allowing it to cool and absorb the flavors.
Combine the arugula, cherries and pistachios with the remaining vinaigrette tossing to coat.
To plate, put marinated squash slices on platter and top with dressed greens. Sprinkle with additional cherries and pistachios if desired and top off with gorgonzola cheese.
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