Monday, October 19, 2015

Butternut Squash Orzo Salad


Butternut Squash Orzo Salad with Maple Vinaigrette | Cooking on the Front Burner

The holidays are coming where I'm pretty sure I'll be indulging a bit more into sweets and other higher calorie food.  I'll be trying to balance it out with some healthier type foods and that is where this Butternut Squash Orzo Salad with Maple Vinaigrette comes into play.  It's a light and refreshing salad perfect for lunch or as a side dish.  Butternut squash is so available right now that it's fun to come up with new recipes for the palate!  What's not to love with fresh spinach, orzo, craisins, roasted squash, tangy gorgonzola and topped with a creamy maple vinaigrette.  It's quickly becoming one of my fall favorites.


So say you are asked to bring a side dish to your next holiday gathering and you show up with this colorful salad?  I think your host would be pretty pleased.  Another variation I thought of afterwards was using quinoa instead of the pasta to add some whole grains.  I'll be trying that sometime soon too!

Another dish that has been a hit is Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries.  It has such a sweet and tangy flavor. 

Butternut Squash with Maple Vinaigrette

by Cooking on the Front Burner
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Roast Time: 30 minutes
Yield 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups diced butternut squash (about 1/4")
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
  • 2 cups diced fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 ozs. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Mix diced squash and olive oil then spread onto a rimmed cookie sheet
  3. Bake until squash is soft and starts to turn brown (between 20-30 minutes)
  4. Remove and set aside
  5. Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions. When done, drain and rinse well with cold water
  6. Combine squash, drained orzo, spinach, dried cranberries and gorgonzola in a large bowl and toss with maple vinaigrette
  7. To make vinaigrette, place syrup, vinegar, mustard, S&P in a small food processor, turn on blade and drizzle in olive oil until combined well
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Cutting butternut squash can be a bit time consuming.  Once I peeled it, I cut in half vertically and used my mandoline on the 1/4" setting to cut slices and then from there, I used a knife to cut the cubes.

Butternut Squash Orzo Salad with Creamy Maple Vinaigrette | Cooking on the Front Burner

I ended up not using all the dressing.  Feel free to add in as much as you think you'll want and save the rest to use on a green salad.

Butternut Squash Orzo Salad with Creamy Maple Vinaigrette | Cooking on the Front Burner

Butternut Squash Orzo Salad with Creamy Maple Vinaigrette | Cooking on the Front Burner

Enjoy this recipe!

Butternut Squash Orzo Salad with Creamy Maple Vinaigrette | Cooking on the Front Burner

Here are some of my other favorite salads you might enjoy:







24 comments:

  1. This is really beautiful, Deb! I have never cooked with orzo but I see it so often I really should pick up a box. I like the addition of butternut squash here (I am using mine today in a soup but no reason I cannot buy another!)

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    1. Orzo pasta is a great one to keep on hand... Really versatile

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  2. This is a beautiful salad! I love that you used gorgonzola in it and paired it with the butternut squash--I bet it goes together so nicely.

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    1. Thanks Julia. The Gorgonzola gives it a nice tangy taste!

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  3. What a great idea to use squash in a salad! The dressing sounds perfect.

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    1. Thanks Andi. I'm in love with the dressing...lol

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  4. So many wonderful flavors in one bowl. Maple and butternut squash are a match made in heaven.

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  5. What is it about butternut squash and craisins....oh, and gorgonzola! Seriously - these are the perfect flavors together!!!

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  6. Wow that looks so good, colorful and healthy!

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  7. Butternut squash must be one of the BEST squashes. It gives your salad a great bright pop of color.

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  8. So fresh and healthy - love all the colors and textures!

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  9. Wow this looks good!!!! I'll be trying this soon, I have a feeling. :-) I am stopping by from Totally Terrific Tuesday...nice to meet you, Deb!

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  10. This sounds absolutely delicious and is a perfect dish for this time of year. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe on "Best of the Weekend." I'll be featuring you dish for this week's party.

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  11. This looks perfect, Deb - and maple vinaigrette?! I can see why it's a favorite! :)

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  12. We are always looking for new butternut squash recipes! This looks so delicious...I cannot wait to try it!

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  13. This looks so incredible! Pinned and tweet. Thank you for being a part of our party. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, because we love to party with you! Happy Halloween~Lou Lou Girls

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  14. Yes to all things orzo! I love how you added butternut squash to this!

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  15. Gorgeous, and I cannot wait to try this! I'm going home with more than a few butternut squash from my dad and mom's garden today!

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  16. This salad is the way I love to eat! Beautiful colors and flavors -- I'd be happy with a big bowl of this!

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  17. Hey! I just wanted you to know that I featured your recipe on my blog!
    Cooking

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