SHELBURNE FARMS CIDER-GLAZED SQUASH & ARUGULA SALAD

Several years ago, award-winning Boston chef, Barbara Lynch, launched a series of cooking demonstrations at her old world european butchery,  The Butcher Shop, in Boston's hip South End. Several times a year, she invited some of New England's best known chefs to share some of their cooking techniques and recipes. Fortunate enough to be at the restaurant when the coveted spaces were released, a reservation for two was secured. At the event, each guest received a signed copy of the newly released Cooking with Shelburne Farms: Food and Stories from Vermont, a heavenly meal paired with wine, and an up close and personal experience with the farm's chef, Rick Gencarelli. Since that night, this salad delights guests each fall on our Weston Table. The new to supermarket produce departments honeynut squash variety makes for a particularly delicious salad. the size and milder flavor of baby arugula greens makes for the most lovely presentation.

Nota bene: The hazelnuts may be toasted and peeled and the dressing made a day in advance. The butternut squash should be dark brown , but not burned--cooking it on the bottom rack of the oven helps encourage caramelization. Butternut squash shrinks as it roasts, so

Shelburne Farms Cider-Glazed Squash & Arugula Salad

Ingredients

  • Butternut squash (3 pounds) or pie pumpkin (4 pounds, peeled and seeded, flesh cut into 3/4 inch cubes)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or natural apple juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

  • 20 raw, peeled hazelnuts

  • 4 cups baby arugula

  • 1/2 cup (2-3 ounces) crumbled fresh goat cheese
     

CIDER VINAIGRETTE

  • 1/2 cup apple cider or natural apple juice

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, grade B or stronger

  • 1 shallot, finely minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a shallow roasting pan or rimmed cooking sheet, toss the squash with the olive oil, apple cider and salt. Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until it is starting to color and all the liquid has evaporated. Cool the squash.

2. While the squash is roasting, coarsely chop the hazelnuts and put them in the oven in a small baking dish next to the squash to toast for about 10-12 minutes until golden and fragrant. Make the vinaigrette.

3. Arrange the arugula on a platter and toss it with about 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette. Top with the cider glazed squash cubes, crumbled goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette as desired. 

TO MAKE VINAIGRETTE

1. In a blender or mini food processor, blend together the cider, cider vinegar, maple syrup, shallot and salt.

2. Gradually add the olive oil and blend to emulsify. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serves 4 to 6