October has barely begun, but I already miss my favorite Summer salads. Thankfully, I've got plenty of autumnal ingredients, like roasted butternut squash, to add into the fresh mix. If you plan meals ahead of time, channel your focus into a Fall salad with lots of splendid details, like port-soaked raisins, toasted walnuts, and oven-broiled goat cheese. Hoping to make the salad the night of? You still can — with the help of apples, cheese, cranberries, and a speedy balsamic glaze. Decide which one works best for you and read more.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
2 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
Coarse kosher salt
4 heads of Belgian endive, root ends trimmed, leaves separated into individual leaves
2 unpeeled Fuji apples, halved, cored, cut into matchstick-size strips
8 ounces blue cheese (such as Maytag), coarsely crumbled
1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Whisk vinegar and lemon juice in small bowl; gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush 2 large rimmed baking sheets with oil; spray with nonstick spray. Whisk vinegar and sugar in small bowl; set aside.
- Cut squash halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange squash in single layer on prepared sheets; brush with oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Roast 5 minutes; brush with sugar-vinegar mixture. Turn squash over and brush with sugar-vinegar mixture; roast 5 minutes. Roast until squash is tender when pierced with small knife, about 15 minutes longer. Cool on sheets. Let stand at room temperature.
- Arrange 5 to 6 endive leaves on each of 10 plates. Place butternut squash slices in center of each plate. Scatter apples, cheese, and cranberries over squash. Drizzle dressing over and serve.
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup port
1 butternut squash (about 2 lb.)
1 small red onion
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium heads Belgian endive
1 small head frisée
1/2 small head radicchio
3 cups loosely packed spinach leaves, stemmed
Sherry Maple Vinaigrette:
6-oz. log fresh goat cheese
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
- Cover the raisins with the port and let sit overnight.
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut off the bulb end of the squash; reserve for another use. Peel the cylinder end and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice. Thinly slice the red onion. In a bowl, combine the squash, red onion, olive oil, and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine thoroughly. Spread the squash and onions on an oiled sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until the squash is just cooked through and the squash and onions are browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cut the endive into 1/2-inch slices. Cut off the stem end of the frisée, separate the leaves, and cut them into smaller pieces. Core and roughly chop the radicchio. Combine the endive, frisée, radicchio, and spinach in a nonreactive mixing bowl; toss with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Arrange the greens on six plates.
- Heat the broiler. Slice the goat cheese into 6 rounds and arrange on a baking sheet. Broil until just soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Top each plate of greens with the still-warm squash and onions. Drain the raisins and sprinkle them, the toasted walnuts, and the bacon, if using, around the plate. Garnish with a round of warmed goat cheese. Drizzle a few teaspoons of the remaining vinaigrette around each plate and serve. Reserve extra vinaigrette for another use.
Serves 6 as a starter.