Peppery arugula + tangy sherry vinegar + crunchy pecans + sweet butternut squash + salty, chewy bacon = delicious. Top with a poached egg for a fabulous, fresh fall dinner salad, or serve it sans egg as a side for some roast chicken.
This is a very imprecise recipe and can be easily modified with what you have on hand or your flavor preferences. Substitute acorn or kabocha squash for butternut, change up the pecans for walnuts, etc.
Warm Butternut Squash & Bacon Salad
Serves 2 (or more as a side salad)
Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into large cubes
- handful of pecans
- extra virgin olive oil (~2-3 T. used throughout recipe)
- a few cups of arugula, washed and torn into bite size pieces if desired
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 pieces thick cut bacon, cut cross-wise into strips (~1/2″ wide)
- ~1 t. fresh thyme
- 1/4-1/2 t. cayenne pepper (optional, depending on spice preferences)
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 2 t. sherry vinegar
- 2-4 poached eggs (optional)
- Place the arugula in a large bowl and preheat oven to 375. Place pecans on baking tray and bake, 3-5 minutes, until slightly nutty smelling (keep an eye out so they don’t burn!). When they are nicely toasted, place them in a small bowl, mix with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and set aside.
- Turn oven up to 400. Toss cubed butternut squash with a light coating of olive oil, the thyme, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Place on baking try and roast, stirring occasionally, until pieces are soft and the edges are beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.
- Mix 2 t. sherry vinegar and 1 t. olive oil in a small dish and set aside.
- In the last 5-10 minutes before the squash is ready, heat a medium/large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and fry, stirring occasionally, until beginning to crisp but not overly brown. Add the onion and reduce heat slightly. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent. Remove pan from heat and swirl vinegar mixture in. Pour over arugula.
- Spoon roasted squash over arugula. Toss to coat and divide into 2 servings. Top with poached eggs if desired.