ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND FIG SALAD WITH BALSAMIC CIDER VINAIGRETTE
This recipe was both inspired by and adapted from Ina Garten’s roasted butternut squash salad recipe, which you can also find in her Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook. It is divine. My adaptation substitutes fresh figs in place of dried cranberries and leaves out the parmesan cheese; and the dressing swaps balsamic in place of apple cider vinegar, and uses a lot less oil to lighten it up.
The roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts, zingy arugula, and cider-balsamic dressing combines all of my favorite flavors of Fall. I usually double this recipe and make this salad for company, because it does require the extra effort of peeling, cubing, and roasting a butternut squash, but the end result is so delicious, believe me it is worth it! I created this adaptation over the weekend and brought it to my card night get-together and it got rave reviews and a few requests for the recipe on Facebook.
It presents beautifully in a large low bowl, and easily doubles to serve a larger gathering of 8-10.