Warm butternut and apple salad

apple and squash salad in bowl

Salad season is almost here! Yes, I know salads are all-year food items, but the warmth of summer makes them so much more enjoyable. As we navigate the transition from cold winter to hot summer, this is the perfect salad to serve. It’s veggie-centric but served warm, making it a good choice for a warm spring day and cool evening.

This salad does require a bit more prep time than your typical salad recipe. First, you have three different ingredients that require dicing. Then you have roasting time for the squash, onions and apple. Finally, you need to cook the pancetta. This is not meant as a deterrent; rather this info is shared so that you plan adequately. From start to finish, you need about 45 minutes to an hour.

The time and effort are well worth it. This salad has a nice mix of textures and flavors.

Warm butternut and apple salad
Serves 4

¼ cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon dried sage
1½ pounds butternut squash, peeled & seeded*
1 small sweet onion
1½ Tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta
1 apple, core removed
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine vinegar and maple syrup in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat slightly, stirring occasionally until reduced by half.
Stir sage into dressing, and set aside.
Dice squash into 1-inch cubes.
Slice onion into small wedges.
Combine 3 cups squash and onion on a rimmed baking sheet
Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and toss to coat fully.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While squash and onions cook, dice pancetta into small pieces
Heat a frying pan over medium; cook diced pancetta for 3 to 5 minutes or until crispy.
Drain pancetta on a paper towel-lined plate.
Dice apple into 1-inch cubes.
Drizzle apple cubes with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, and toss to coat.
After baking for 15 minutes, remove tray from oven.
Add apple to tray, return to oven, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Transfer squash, onion and apples to a large bowl.
Pour reduced dressing over it; stir well.
Top with pancetta.

  • Save leftover squash for another recipe.

Featured Photo: Warm butternut and apple salad. Photo by Michele Pesula Kuegler.

Author: Michele Pesula Kuegler

Michele Pesula Kuegler has been thinking about food her entire life. Since 2007, the Manchester resident has been sharing these food thoughts and recipes at her blog, Think Tasty. Please visit thinktasty.com to find more of her recipes.

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