Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Serves 6 as a side dish
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), skin scrubbed and rinsed
2 large red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
1 cup walnuts, broken into large pieces
4-6 ounces washed baby spinach leaves (depending on the package size)
3 ounces crumbled bleu cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Trim the ends of the squash, then cut it lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Put the cut side down on the cutting board, then cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces. Cut each of those into 1-inch widths. Combine the squash pieces with the onion wedges in a large bowl, and stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus ¾ teaspoon fine salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Spread everything out on a large baking sheet and make sure the squash pieces are all skin-side down – the skin should be touching the baking sheet. (Don’t worry if the curved pieces aren’t all flush against the sheet, the point is just to have them skin-side down). Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables get a little color. You may have to take the onions out to keep them from burning, as they might cook faster than the squash pieces.
At this point, you can let the squash and onions cool, then refrigerate for up to 2 days. A couple of hours before serving, take them out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
Spread the spinach leaves on a large serving plate, and then arrange the squash and onion pieces on top. Scatter the walnut pieces over the squash and onion, and the bleu cheese if you’re using it. Whisk the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of oil together with the mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper, then drizzle the dressing over the dish. Add a bit more salt if you need it, and serve.