What to do with a massive harvest of butternut squash in July? Make a summer salad of course! Thanks to our “Three Sisters” garden lessons that took place at Mitchell Elementary this Spring, we ended up with over 50 pounds of this versatile veggie. The Three Sisters lesson teaches the importance of intercropping, using Squash, Beans, and Corn as the perfect example of a trio who help each other grow. The corn “sister” supports the beans, as they wrap around her stalk for support, and leaves from the bean and corn plants help to shade the low-growing squash plant. Check out where this squash sister ended up — in a refreshing salad prepared by our very own, Elise DeVoe!
For the Butternut Squash Salad:
- 1 Butternut squash
- 2 cups kale
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 T salt
- 1 T pepper
- 2 t paprika
- 1 t chili powder
For the dressing:
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 2 T shallot
- 1 T maple syrup
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 t olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
To start, preheat your oven to 400. While the oven is preheating, peel and seed the butternut squash. It takes a little bit of elbow grease, but it’s all worth it in the end.
Once the butternut squash is peeled and seeded, dice it into 1 inch squares. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to make sure they are all the same size so they cook evenly.
Spread the cubes on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season with the salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Throw it in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the squash is fork tender (I actually poke it with a fork to test it).
While the squash is roasting away, start the dressing. Combine the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, and shallots in a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce for 5 minutes. Boiling it will make it thicker and also get rid of any harsh onion taste from the shallots.
Let the dressing cool for a few minutes and whisk in the remaining ingredients. The first thing I thought of when I tasted this dressing was that it tasted like a fancier and lighter honey mustard, so I’m about it.
When the butternut squash is fork tender, take it out of the oven and let it cool. While it’s cooling, you can mix together the rest of your salad. I was just making this for myself, so I just put it on a plate, but if you’re making it for a big group, definitely serve it in a salad bowl.
Add all the ingredients to the bowl and toss with the dressing. I would pour the dressing a little bit at a time so that you don’t over do it and make it soggy. Enjoy this as a side dish for dinner or as a light lunch!