Roasted pears and butternut squash bring their sweet, deep flavors to the bitter arugula. The dressing uses some of the roasted pear as well, helping to keep this salad light.
Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer; dress it up with chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts. To make it a more substantial main course, add roasted chicken, turkey or duck.
- 1 pound butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium (about 9 ounces each) ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cut in half and cored
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 or 3 teaspoons honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ounces baby arugula
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking oil spray.
Toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 tablespoon of the oil: transfer to one side of the lined baking sheet. Place the pear halves, cut sides down, on the other side. Sprinkle the pears and squash lightly with salt.
Roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender, stirring the squash pieces every 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the pears over after 25 minutes. When the pears and squash are tender, remove them from the oven; they might not be ready at the same time.
Transfer one of the roasted pear halves to a blender along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the vinegar, 2 teaspoons of the honey and salt and pepper to taste; puree until smooth. Taste, and add the remaining teaspoon of honey as needed, along with any seasoning adjustment.
Divide the arugula among individual salad plates. Top each portion with equal amounts of the roasted squash and pears. Drizzle about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dressing over each salad.
Top each salad with a grind or two of black pepper, if desired, and serve.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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