This salad is going to blow your mind. We can’t really explain how well balsamic, squash, pear, arugula and goat cheese taste together so you will just have to try it for yourself! This salad can be served warm or cold. Though a little pre-planning to roast the squash and pears is necessary, the salad assembles quickly afterwards and will make you look like a gourmet chef!
1 bunch of arugula
2 pears sliced and roasted
1/2 butternut squash sliced and roasted (any winter squash works)
4-6oz goat cheese/chevre
A drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional but suggested additions: 2 slices prosciutto roasted, pomegranate seeds, fresh figs
Step 1: Roast the squash and pears
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut up your squash into 1 inch cubes. You can actually leave the skin on, it’s edible when roasted. If you don’t like that idea, then peel as well. Scoop out the seeds. We suggest rinsing them and setting aside (see below for more details). Place cut squash on a roasting pan with a few sprigs of rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. Optional: You can leave your squash plain or sprinkle a little ground cumin or coriander, or even a curry powder or garam masala mix on your squash for a little more exotic flavor profile. Make sure to leave 1/2 your tray space open, or if you don't have the room, leave room in your over for another roasting tray. Put the tray in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, core and slice your pears. At the same time toss your now cleaned squash seeds with a bit of olive oil.
After 15 roasting remove your squash tray from the oven. In the space you left place the pears, and next to them the seeds. Optional - Sprinkle your seeds with a little chili powder or a touch of cinnamon for a little kick. Place entire tray back in oven and roast for another 20 minutes. Optional: If you have sliced prosciutto on hand (say from making ravioli with prosciutto and roasted figs) you can place a few sliced on your roasting tray next to your seeds and roast.
Remove from oven and let cool. NOTE: If serving this salad warm, you still want everything to cool to warm from hot.
Step 2: Assemble the salad
If serving cold your roasted veggies have sat long enough to be room or refrigerator temp. If serving warm, well, they are warm. Rinse your arugula and place on a platter or salad bowl. Top with squash, pears, and (optional roasted prosciutto, figs, or pomegranate seeds). Next break up your goat cheese with your hands and sprinkle in chunks over the salad. Now drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with roasted squash seeds. If you happen to have a nice aged thick balsamic laying around, hit it with a few good glugs before serving to really gild the lily.