It is noon-ish here in McCall, Idaho—our stomping grounds for the week—and the thermometer on the porch has yet to reach the 40°F mark. With weather like this, we have roasted a full chicken (maple butter chicken, to be exact), made enchilada soup (adapted this recipe), and even ate freshly baked pumpkin pie in front of the fireplace… for most of the US though, I know, it is not winter yet. This sage-butter butternut squash salad is what I was making while still at home, and will probably return to making when we get back.
I forgot one key ingredient for the photoshoot of this recipe: parmesan cheese! It went on shortly after. Butternut squash, pecans, and parm make this salad quite hearty. One day we had it for breakfast with a fried egg on top, another we ate it as lunch. It would also work as a side, served in a big bowl and tossed. Capers might seem like a curve ball ingredient, but since butternut squash, pecans, and currants are all a tad sweet, the capers add a necessary salty, brine-y pop.
Serves: 2 (as a meal) or 4 (as a side) | Active Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:For the butternut squash:
- Cook the squash: heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a 10-inch skillet. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom in butter. When butter is melted and starts to bubble, place butternut squash in pan. Cook, without stirring, for about 7 minutes. Add sage, and stir gently. Cook for 7-10 more minutes, stirring very occasionally, until butternut squash is golden on the edges and tender all the way through. Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, prep the salad. Place chopped kale in large salad bowl and drizzle very lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Using your hands, rub the oil and salt into the kale leaves until they are tender and bright green (this makes them softer—better for eating). Divide kale among serving bowls, if using. Top with currants, toasted pecans, capers, and parmesan. Add butternut squash.
- Make vinaigrette: place all vinaigrette in a jar with a lid and shake to emulsify. Drizzle dressing to taste over salad.
- Serve salad immediately, season with black pepper to taste, and toss.