One of the best salads I’ve ever made. No joke, I could eat the whole bowl. And quite simple to make actually. My cleanup was also minimal. Did I mention it was perfect? Make it for Thanksgiving and just wait for all the compliments to roll in.
So the star here is clearly the butternut squash. You want to slice it into chunks that are substantial but not too big to fit into your mouth. They will take about 30 minutes to roast this way. You can also substitute in sweet potato or pumpkin. You can also leave out the maple syrup and it will still taste awesome. Or sub in honey for the syrup.
The prosciutto is so perfect here. You scrunch and twist the thin slices into little roses or bunches of salty goodness. Bake them up for about 15 minutes to obtain that crunchiness for your salad’s texture quotient. You can also sub in bacon or guancille.
Toast up your pecan pieces for another crunchy flavorful nutty taste. You can do this in the oven or in a small pan. Just make sure you watch them because they can burn relatively quickly. I would sub in walnuts for this if you don’t have pecans.
The shave parmesan cheese is definitely important to this dish. I would substitute in goat cheese as an alternative. The pomegranate jewels are also a non negotiable. Aesthetically, they MAKE the salad. Those little ruby gems lend the salad the ideal juicy sweetness. You can also add in some dried cranberries.
The dressing is so simple and delicious. The balsamic vinegar really compliments the flavor of all of the ingredients so well. Drizzle and then toss everything up with that creamy avocado, chopped chives and enjoy!
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- salt + pepper to taste
- 5 oz prosciutto
- 5 oz mixed greens
- 3 oz baby arugula
- 1 pomegranate, cleaned
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 3 oz parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Stem, peel, and deseed your squash. Cut into small chunks (not cubed, not too big to fit into a bite). Toss them with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste. Spread them out an a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes or until fork tender.
- In the 400°F oven, bake your prosciutto. Twist the slices into small roses and bake for 15 minutes or until they are crispy. Watch them because they can burn easily.
- Toast your pecans in a small pan on medium heat, for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch them, they can burn easily.
- Whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust honey or balsamic according to your palate.