The sweetness of acorn squash and the subtle bitterness of arugula is a perfect combination. Add roasted pecans, a creamy apple cider dressing and freshly grated Parmesan and you have a salad that will send your taste buds to the moon and back.
This salad was inspired by my new love of acorn squash. This picture was from last week’s acorn squash photo shoot. I shared a few beautiful shots last week, but I had to just show you one more. I actually took about twenty five shots! Oh, how I love digital photography.
In the fall my salads transform into warm, earthy mixtures of roasted root vegetables, squash, and crisp greens. I usually make this particular salad with butternut squash and a tangy vinaigrette, but I had acorn squash on the kitchen table from last week that had to be used. I decided to cut it crossways, roast it, and create a fall salad. With this cut, the acorn squash looks like pretty little squash flowers.
I brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, and roasted for about 45 minutes. While they were cooking I made an apple cider dressing to compliment the squash and arugula, and I roasted pecans to give it a nutty crunch. After the squash are cooked, use a sharp knife to cut off the peelings. I lay them on the pan to keep them in tact while I gently slide the knife around the edges. It really doesn’t matter if the squash breaks apart or if you choose to slice it in chunks, but I love the artsy look of the squash flower shapes.
Put a bed of arugula on each plate, two roasted squash flower slices, sprinkle with pecans, drizzle with apple cider dressing, and scatter freshly shaved Parmesan on top. This salad will be a keeper for your fall menu. Enjoy!
- 4 cups arugula salad
- 2 small acorn squash
- ½ cup pecans, roasted
- ¾ cups apple cider or freshly squeezed apple juice (VitaMix Blender)
- ½ small sweet onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated.
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice Acorn Squash crossways into ½ inch thick flower shapes.
- Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle with salt.
- Roast in the oven for 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
- While squash is roasting, make the dressing.
- In a medium skillet, saute' finely chopped onion until tender and translucent.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and apple cider to the skillet.
- Cook until it reduces in half.
- Whisk in 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard.
- Add olive oil and whisk some more.
- Whisk in white pepper (about a ½ teaspoon). It's best to add a little taste, then sprinkle more.
- Add salt to your taste. Whisk the dressing and pour into a dressing pitcher or pouring container.
- Place a bed of arugula on a plate.
- Add two squash slices.
- Sprinkle with pecans.
- Drizzle with the dressing.
- Grate the Parmesan on top and serve.