Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Escarole and Butternut Squash Salad

This is one of the best salads I have ever had. Especially one of the best ones I have ever made!! And not to mention that it is served with a homemade dressing that is really good, especially because it has a little kick to it! I have made this salad twice to accompany a pretty lavish gourmet meal, but the salad was one of the best things about the meal, and Tad and I decided that I should just make the salad by itself more often! The combination of flavors makes it a wonderful fall salad, perfect for an afternoon lunch, an accompaniment for entertaining, or you could use the homemade dressing for just about anything! It would also be a great dish to serve at the Thanksgiving table! Enjoy!

Escarole and Butternut Squash Salad
Cuisine at Home

For the squash - 
1 1/2 lb. butternut squash
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

For the dressing - 
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. honey
1/2 - 1 tsp. minced chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce

For the salad -
1 head escarole (or whatever kind of greens you prefer)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
2. Peel skin from squash. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Cut flesh into 1 1/2-inch chunks; toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast squash on the baking sheet until browned, 25-30 minutes. Cool squash to room temperature.
3. Mince garlic with the 1/2 tsp. salt, then place in a medium bowl. Whisk in mayonnaise, buttermilk, lime juice, honey, and chipotle until dressing is emulsified. Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve, or up to 2 days.
4. Toss escarole with desired amount of dressing. Top salad with roasted squash and cranberries; garnish with pine nuts.

To toast the pine nuts, put them in a pan on medium heat and watch them closely. Cook until they are lightly browned. It says to shop them, but we put them whole on our salads. Love this addition!

The dressing doubles as a dipping sauce for some homemade empanadas that go along with this meal. Maybe I will add the recipe for these in the near future. Warning: they are to die for!

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