Arugula Salad With Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

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This salad is fast and easy. I’ve even used sweet potato instead of butternut squash. This salad is versatile enough that you can mix in any protein to it. My favorites are grilled shrimp or chicken.

1 (1.5 to 2 lb) butternut squash
2 Tbsp light olive oil
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp shallots, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried (if you can’t find arugula, you can use baby spinach or mixed greens)
1/2 cup walnuts pieces, toasted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, remove rind, and cut into 1 inch pieces.
Place the squash on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and teaspoon pepper and mix to coat well.
Put in preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes, turn, and roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until tender and browning.
Just before roast cooks completely, sprinkle cranberries on top and put back in oven for final minutes – about 2 or 3 minutes is enough.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the apple juice, apple cider, and shallots and bring to a boil over medium heat; cook until this liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to make the vinaigrette dressing.
To assemble, put the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture and walnuts.

Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Add more vinaigrette if desired, taste, and add more kosher salt and pepper if needed.

Serve immediately. Will serve about 4 to 6 people.

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