I remember growing up and getting so excited when my mom decided to make us all roasted squash for dinner. Her version usually included a lot of butter, a simple halved squash, and honey drizzled all over it… oh and some cinnamon. Cinnamon was always the cherry on the top. It would roast in the oven for what seems like an eternity until the honey and butter had caramelized and soaked deep into the flesh. It was magic and probably not the most healthy, but what kid says no to kind of eating “dessert” during dinner, with the potential of actual dessert at the end? Not this kid, no way!
That being said, this roasted winter squash salad with sage-honey vinaigrette is probably a slight ode to my sweet mom. I don’t know why, but whenever I cook squash, I always think of her and her simple, delicious recipe for roasted squash. It was so comforting and could easily change a bad day to an amazing one!
This squash salad may not be loaded with rich, warm butter, as I do my best to avoid that much butter these days. However, I do have some serious honey working up in here! That sage-honey vinaigrette is oh so addictive! Like, let me sit with a spoon and eat it all on its own addictive. Since squash is relatively filling, this roasted winter squash salad could easily be a full meal or served alongside chicken, ham, steak – you name it! I’m also highly considering serving it for our holiday dinner. It’s not traditional in any way, but it has some of the key elements. The addition of thinly sliced jalapenos are AMAZING and gives it a zap of fun spice!
For those of you who’ve never tried thinly sliced jalapenos on a salad, it is life changing! If you’re not afraid of a bit of heat, this is a must. And honestly, it’s not that hot. The key with Jalapeno is to remove as many of the seeds as possible. That’s where all of the hot heat resides. You’re still going to get a touch of heat, but not mouth-melting heat. While we are on the subject, do avoid contact with your eyes during and way after cutting jalapenos. I don’t know if it’s just me, but every time I cook with these guys it’s like my eye knows and it starts itching. It just hangs out there on my face and taunts me! What’s worse it that my forgetful-self blanks on the reproductions of giving in, haha. Before you know it I’m on the ground in ridiculous, absolutely avoidable pain, cursing the pepper gods! Adam makes fun of me every time, but always comes to my aid none the less! Usually, because he’s in the other room and panics that I’ve cut off my finger… again. Yes, guys! I know! And yes, I went to culinary school! Despite the knife skills 101 class and all of those other classes I took, I’m just a clumsy, forgetful girl at heart, haha!
So now that I’ve probably grossed you out or made you fear for my safety in life, let’s just leave it at this… this salad is so good! It takes a little extra effort, due to the roasting of the squash, but very much worth the work! The sage-honey vinaigrette is LIFE! You will want it on everything, so possibly make extra!
Happy holidays everyone! I hope you are doing so many fun things to celebrate and trying to enjoy the moments that come along with it!!
- 1 Delicata squash
- 1 Acorn Squash
- 1 Butternut squash
- Olive oil
- 1 Granny smith apples - halved, cored, and sliced thin
- 1/2 red onion - sliced thin
- 8 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 jalapeno - thinly sliced, seeds removed
- Fields greens such as kale, arugula, frisee, escarole, radicchio, dandelion, spinach - washed and dried
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup olive oil or safflower oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- To prep squash, peel just the butternut squash (leave skin on acorn squash and delicata squash.) Cut each squash in half. Remove seeds. Here’s the important part… cutting all of the squash at the same thickness, so they all cook equally. Slice each squash half about ½ inch thick. I cut the acorn squash slices and low portion of the butternut squash slices in half again, as they are rather large. Lightly toss squash slices in oil, salt, pepper and a light dusting of allspice. Roast squash for 15-20 minutes or until able to pierce with a fork, but not completely soft. Remove and cool slightly.
- While squash is cooking, make vinaigrette. Add all vinaigrette ingredients, except the olive oil, into a blender. Blend until combined. With blender running, slowly add in oil through opening in lid. Add salt and pepper, if needed. Vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance and whisked smooth before serving.
- In a large serving bowl, layer field greens, roasted squash, sliced onions, sliced apples, feta and jalapeno slices. Drizzle with sage-honey vinaigrette and serve. Serve with some crusty sourdough bread.
With love from my kitchen to yours,