Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

In my soon-to-be 23 years on the planet, I've been hesitant to eat vegetables that are sweet. In particular, anything orange. Carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash have been on my to-cook list for quite some time. So you can imagine my surprise when I thoroughly enjoyed my venture with butternut squash.

I started by roasting a giant 5 pound squash (go big or go home). This yielded a surprising number of delicious dishes: butternut squash salad, squash & pear soup and butternut squash risotto. I actually enjoyed it so much that I was eating the roasted squash by itself. The sweet caramelized exterior with the soft hearty interior, yum! The moral of the story here, don't judge a vegetable by its color.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Yields: 4 Servings

1/2 lb butternut squash, diced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
1 cup arugula leaves
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup pecans

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put the diced squash onto a baking sheet, drizzle it with one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle it with kosher salt and black pepper. Place it into the oven for 45 minutes, turning it once after 25 minutes. The squash should be perfectly caramelized and golden.
Once the squash has cooled slightly, plate it with the arugula leaves, cranberries, goat cheese and pecans. Finish it off by drizzling it with the remaining olive oil.

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