You’ve gotta try this perfect, unexpected fall / winter salad. It’s a family favorite at Thanksgiving, but honestly… I can sit down with a plate of it at any time. Roasted squash, onions and apples provide a uniquely delicious base. Highlighted by tart cranberries, crunchy pecans and salty/sweet manchego cheese. The best part? You can make it ahead and serve it room temperature. Of course, it’s also delicious straight from the fridge.
Recipe Credit: Chef Jose Sanchez, who graciously shared the recipe with my mom.
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into wedges
- 4 fuji apples, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup manchego cheese, diced
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for roasting squash, onion, and apples
- 1 tsp chopped sage
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon and nutmeg)
- salt & pepper
Plus… Cranberry Syrup
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a baking pan, toss the first three ingredients with the olive oil and pumpkin pie spice. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45-60 minutes till the squash is barely fork tender, but not mushy.
- Let the roasted ingredients cool before adding other ingredients
- Add the cooled roasted ingredients, plus chopped pecans, cranberries, manchego cheese, sage, and parsley to a large serving bowl
- Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the cranberry syrup (see below) and stir to incorporate
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place cranberry juice, red wine and sugar in a small sauce pan and reduce on medium heat to a syrup consistency. (You’ll end up with about 1/4 cup of syrup.)
You can serve the salad right away, or store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Longer than that, the manchego cheese starts to break down and the salad loses it’s complexity.
The recipe gives you about 2 tbsp of extra cranberry syrup. This is GOLD in a margarita or a glass of bubbly during the holidays.