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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Pears and Stilton

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Serves 4

  • by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking
    Issue 120

Using just the top half of the squash creates rounds of the same size for even roasting and a pretty salad.

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb.)
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium head escarole (about 1 lb.), trimmed and torn into 1-1/2-inch pieces (about 10 lightly packed cups)
  • 2 medium firm-ripe pears (Bartlett or Anjou), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 6 oz. Stilton, cut into 8 wedges

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

Cut off the narrow top portion of the squash close to where it widens (reserve the base for another use). Peel and slice it into 12 thin (about 1/4-inch) rounds.

Brush both sides of the squash with 1 Tbs. of the oil and spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Roast, turning once, until softened and browned, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Slowly whisk in the remaining 4 Tbs. oil and season with more salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the escarole and pears with enough of the vinaigrette to coat lightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the squash on 4 large dinner plates. Top each with a mound of the escarole and pears and sprinkle with the bacon. Tuck 2 wedges of Stilton into each salad and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 560; Fat (g): 35; Fat Calories (kcal): 310; Saturated Fat (g): 12; Protein (g): 18; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15; Carbohydrates (g): 50; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 1050; Cholesterol (mg): 60; Fiber (g): 15;

Photo: Jennifer May

I have to watch my saturated fat intake so I had to make alterations. This "light" dish has 12g sat fat, which is absurd for a salad! I omitted bacon because I didn't have any, used an arugula/spinach mix because that's what I had on hand and did a tablespoon of blue cheese on each salad. It was so delicious! I love bacon but I think it might have distracted from other flavors in this dish. I'm also delighted to have found a way to cook butternut squash so quickly! This dish is probably delicious as is, but with the changes I made it was luscious, complex with the flavors of autumn. A real keeper.

Excellent! Such a great way to get your veg without being boring. We used arugula instead of escarole b/c that's what the store had and crumbled the cheese on top. Makes a nice light dinner with some crusty bread. Will definitely have this again.

Made this for New Years Dinner. It was the hit of the day! Used Stilton with cranberries which added color and went well with the pears. Using only the neck of the butternut squash was an excellent technique that resulted in perfectly roasted squash and a wonderful presentation. Everyone wanted to know how I got such perfectly round portions. This will definitley be added to my holiday menus for the futute.

I saw this in a magazine, tried it and loved it!!!! We couldn't find the stilton required in the recipe but found a lemon stilton (dessert stilton) that complimented the pears perfectly! This will be part of the dinner menu!

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