I love a good fancy salad. That’s probably why the recipe for Warm Spiced Butternut Squash Salad with Winesap Apples caught my eye and became one of the first recipes that I wanted to test for The Eat to Live Project (Is that the name for what I am doing? Do you have a better name for it?).
I really eat a lot of salads, so I like to keep them interesting by throwing in fruit and roasted vegetables, both of which were featured in this recipe from the new Eat to Live Cookbook.
Based on a reader’s rave review of the dressing for this salad, I decided to triple the dressing portion of the recipe thinking that I would love having the extras for salads during the week, also wanting to use up more of the specialty ingredients (shallots, apple juice, parsley and sage) that I bought for the salad knowing I would have no other use for them but this dressing.
Did this salad fulfill all of my expectations? Read on to find out . . .
Did I like it? Yes
Was it easy to make with readily available ingredients? The only real odd bird was date sugar, which I don’t have, so I subbed in coconut sugar. I also had to invest in some dried apples and fresh sage.
Also, if you are in a rush to make a salad, don’t attempt this one. It’s more like a special occasion salad recipe or an “I have a lot of time to kill on a salad recipe and I don’t mind doing that” salad recipe.
What specifically did I like about the recipe? The use of raw kale and raw spinach together as the salad greens–that was new for me. It’s also a fancy salad which would make a great impression at a pot luck or even Thanksgiving.
What specifically didn’t I like about the recipe? The instructions said to roast the butternut squash for 20 minutes, covered. I didn’t cover mine, because I thought that would end up steaming the squash rather than getting a good roast, so I opted to leave it uncovered. For that reason, my squash took 45 minutes to roast instead of the 15 as the recipe indicated. No biggie!
There was too much apple in the salad for my taste, and I used really small apples.
Did my husband like it? Yes
Did my teenage daughter like it? No
Did my eight or five year old try it? No
Would I make it again? The full salad? Maybe, for a special occasion or party. But the dressing . . . that I will make again for sure. It’s a real winner. My friends who tasted the dressing leftovers at lunch today both wanted the recipe.
Is there anything I would do to improve on it if I made it again? I would make the dressing a day or more in advance. The raw onion flavor of the dressing combined with the raw onion flavor going on in the salad was a bit much raw onion, even for me, and I really like raw onion. Perhaps I might just leave out the raw onion in the salad in the future. The dressing mellowed as it sat in my refrigerator and was amazing four days after I made it.
In addition, I would definitely use 1/2 if the volume of pepitas in the salad as the recipe calls for. I just really need to watch those nuts and seeds! I would also decrease the amount of diced apple.
Overall Grade (completely unscientific, I admit): B for the salad (too labor intensive, too much raw onion)/A for the dressing
Have you made this salad? What were your impressions? Leave a comment below.
Still don’t have the book? What are you holding out for?