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Roasted Butternut Squash & Pear Salad with Spiced Pecan Vinaigrette

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Serves 6

This salad combines fall's sweetest flavors: mellow butternut squash, crisp buttery pears, and crunchy pecans, with a slightly spicy kick from the vinaigrette.

  • 1/2 cup pecans, very coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 3 cups 3/4-inch-diced, peeled butternut squash (from about a 2-lb. squash)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced shallots
  • 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 6 cups loosely packed mixed salad greens
  • 1 small ripe pear, halved, cored, and thinly sliced

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F

Put the pecans and butter in an 8-inch-square Pyrex dish and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the chile powder and toss. Bake the nuts until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Put the squash on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 2 Tbs. of the oil over the squash and sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. salt. Toss to coat. Roast the squash until browned on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Flip with a metal spatula and continue to roast until the squash is tender and nicely browned on a second side, 5 to 10 minutes more. Set aside to cool.

Put the shallots in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and let soak for 15 minutes; drain in a colander.

Combine the vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in the remaining 1/3 cup oil.

Combine the salad greens and shallots in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Drizzle just enough of the dressing over the salad to coat lightly, and toss gently. Divide the greens among six plates and scatter the pecans, squash, and pears over the greens. Drizzle with a little more dressing if desired and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 310; Fat (g): fat g 28; Fat Calories (kcal): 250; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 5; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 370; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 10; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Yummy! My husband just got back from travelling for 9 days and said he wanted just vegetables. I made this but added some chevre cheese and it was a complete meal. Will definitely make again!

I give it more stars than the rating scale allows for! An incredible melding of flavors and textures!!! Next time I would use less oil when roasting the squash as I would have liked more of a crust on the squash. I made it last night and will make it again tonight. It will become one of my regulars!

Fantastic! Unusual combination and great balance of flavor and texture.

Absolutely marvelous! The roasted squash and pear is sublime along with the spiced pecans. I made another Fine Cooking recipe two nights ago (Autumn Vegetable soup, another favorite) and used the leftover butternut squash for this salad. Two back to back winners! Just like other reviewers suggested, I also added some blue cheese. It worked wonderfully, especially with the pear! A definite keeper!

I agree with all the other reviewers----absolutely fantastic salad! The flavors all work perfectly together. And a bit of bleu cheese is a great addition.

This salad is absolutely outstanding. I was looking for something different for New Year's Eve and everyone agreed this was one of the best salads ever. I will definitely be making this one again.

wonderful!

What a lovely salad! I agree with the other reviews posted...the flavors and textures are delicious in this recipe. Perfect Fall salad. VAgardengirl

Made this salad last night and it was really fantastic. I could easily make a meal just with this salad. Flavors and textures were excellent!! Everything worked together so well. I'll be making this often.

This is one of our favorite salads. All the flavors work together so well. I just had to add a comment about it, because I can't believe more haven't reviewed this recipe...it's just fantastic!

The pecans were the most wonderful I've ever had. We're giving these as Christmas presents. Salad was fabulous.

Used this recipe for a formal fall luncheon. Only change I make was adding a wedge of Stilton Blue to the salad. Was loved by all.

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