Sunday, October 17, 2010

Acorn Squash Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

It is officially October. This is the season for football, scarves and leather boots. Another reason to love autumn?  Squash is starting to make an appearance at your local greenmarket, grocery store or neighborhood bodega. Acorn squash (which will cost under $1.00 in most cases) is easy to make but can get a bit boring if you make it the same time each way. The recipe I'm posting today should help you change up the old squash and butter routine (or introduce you to acorn squash, as the case may be). I learned this recipe while working at a dessert lounge one day, from my manager at the time. It is rumored to have been the saving grace of a restaurant on the brink of bankruptcy. After trying the salad, I believed the story. I hope you'll enjoy the crispy squash and refreshing citrus flavors it as much as I do.

Acorn Squash Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Alexandra Rogers 

1 acorn squash, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
a dash of cayenne
1/4 cup pistachios or pine nuts (lightly toasted)
4 cups of mixed baby greens

{Orange Vinaigrette}
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil, or a combination
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to  350ºF.

Mix the cut up acorn squash, olive oil and spices together in a bowl. Lightly coat all squash pieces and place in a baking pan in one layer (make sure to use a baking pan with edges that prevent the oil from spilling out into the oven during the baking process). Cook for 25 minutes until the squash is easily pierced with a fork. Turn oven from bake to broil and broil squash pieces for about 3 minutes per side, or until the pieces are browned and crispy. Remove squash pieces from oven and lay out on a paper towel lined baking sheet or plate to soak up any extra oil.

Lightly toast pine nuts or pistachio nuts in a small pan on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. Do not use any oil.

In a serving dish, layer washed and dried mixed baby greens, squash pieces and toasted pistachios (or pine nuts). Serve with Orange Vinaigrette or simply squeeze an orange's juice over the salad. 

{Orange Vinaigrette}
Combine all ingredients in a jar or Tupperware container and shake vigorously. Use as much as you like (I prefer a light amount of dressing, to start) to top the acorn squash salad.


  1. I think this recipe looks incredible. I will totall try it when I have a chance. I am making a food blog myself and as soon as i get it going I will let you know:)


  2. This salad sounds fabulous! I've usually got all the ingredients on hand on a regular basis during the fall so I'll definitely be trying this one out!

  3. Thank you, Peggy! This weekend I'm going to experiment with it a bit, to figure out how to make the squash pieces a little crisper on the outside--I'll definitely update the recipe with my findings. Thanks for reading!

  4. I've decided--using butternut squash for this would not be bad--easier to peel and just as tasty.


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