Beet and Butternut Squash Salad

Lightly seasoned roasted beets and butternut squash are the stars of this delicate, yet filling, salad. Beets have a wonderful earthy sweetness and the slight caramel notes of the squash are an almost perfect pair. The bright herby goat cheese and the fattiness of the walnuts round out the dish. There has always been a beet salad of some kind at Harold’s Cabin. This recipe makes 6–8 really nice-sized salads, perfect for starting a gathering of friends.  

Photography By Shell Royster | April 09, 2018

Ingredients

For the Salad
  • 1 pound arugula
  • 2 cups walnuts, toasted
  • Roasted beets and squash
  • Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
  • Herby goat cheese
Roasted Beets and Squash
  • 2 medium butternut squashes
  • 6-8 medium beets
  • Neutral oil (canola, sunflower, blended olive oil, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper
Maple Cider Vinaigrette
  • 1 cup Grade - A Vermont maple syrup
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pint neutral oil (canola, sunflower, blended olive oil, etc.)
Herby Goat Cheese
  • 1 pound goat cheese
  • ½ pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

For the salad:

Place arugula, beets, walnuts and squash in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad mixture. 

Place a large dollop of goat cheese on serving platter. Smear with large kitchen spoon.  

Place salad over the goat cheese and serve. 

For the roasted beets and squash:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the butternut squash, cut the neck from the bell, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut squash into uniform pieces. Toss in a neutral oil; add salt and pepper. Roast in 350 degrees oven for a total of 30 minutes. Rotate the pan every 10 minutes to achieve proper doneness.  

Place the beets in a casserole dish and drizzle with a neutral oil. Season beets with salt and pepper. Wrap casserole dish in aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook for 90 minutes.  

Once cool, peel with a towel and cut to desired shape. 

For the maple cider vinaigrette:

Place all ingredients, except oil, into food processor or variable-speed blender. Mix on high speed setting until everything is homogenous. Slowly add oil through opening, the mixture will start to thicken.  

Once all the oil is added, blend for just a few seconds more to ensure the emulsification is complete. Remove and put into an air-tight container.  

The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.  

For the herby goat cheese:

Chef’s note: Your choice of equipment to mix this depends on your kitchen. It works best in a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with a paddle but can be made with a hand mixer or even a food processor.  

Place all of the ingredients in a mixer. Mix slowly to incorporate ingredients and slowly increase speed. Total mixing time should be about 5–8 minutes.  

Once completed, the mix should be light and airy and a little runny. Place mix in the refrigerator prior to use. It will stiffen a little.  

Can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 10 days.   

Serves 6-8

Recipe by Chef Travis Smith of Harold's Kitchen

Ingredients

For the Salad
  • 1 pound arugula
  • 2 cups walnuts, toasted
  • Roasted beets and squash
  • Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
  • Herby goat cheese
Roasted Beets and Squash
  • 2 medium butternut squashes
  • 6-8 medium beets
  • Neutral oil (canola, sunflower, blended olive oil, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper
Maple Cider Vinaigrette
  • 1 cup Grade - A Vermont maple syrup
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pint neutral oil (canola, sunflower, blended olive oil, etc.)
Herby Goat Cheese
  • 1 pound goat cheese
  • ½ pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
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