Butternut Squash, Pickled Red Onions, Candied Walnuts & Goat Cheese Salad

Butternut squash is the star of this salad—and our hearts. The butternut squash is roasted and combined with sweet crunchy walnuts, pickled red onions, crumbled goat cheese and fresh parsley. The combination of flavors and textures make it a salad that you’ll want seconds of. And thirds. And fourths. And maybe even fifths. 

Ingredients

    For the pickled onions
  • 1

    firm red onion
  • ½
    tsp sugar
  • ½
    tsp salt
  • ¾
    cup rice vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  • black peppercorns (optional)

  • garlic clove (optional)
  • For the candied walnuts
  • 1
    cup walnut halves/pieces
  • ¼
    cup white granulated sugar
  • 1
    tbsp butter
  • For the squash
  • 1

    Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced into ¼” pieces
  • 3
    tbsp olive oil
  •   
    Salt and pepper 
  •   
    Goat cheese
  •   
    Fresh parsley

Directions

Make the pickled onions (this should be done a few days before serving)
  • 1 Start 2-3 cups of water to boil in a kettle.
  • 2 Peel and thinly slice the onion approximately ¼” thick.
  • 3 In the container you’ll be storing the onions in (a glass container is recommended because it does not absorb odors), add the sugar, vinegar, salt and optional spices (peppercorns and garlic). Stir to dissolve.
  • 4 Place the sliced onions in a strainer/colander in the sink and slowly pour the boiling water over them and let them drain.
  • 5 Add the onions to your jar and stir to distribute flavorings. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Make the walnuts (this can be done ahead of time, too)
  • 1 Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts, sugar and butter to the pan.
  • 2 Heat for 5 minutes, stirring often so the mixture doesn’t burn. Stir constantly when the sugar starts to melt to ensure all the walnuts are coated evenly.
  • 3 Transfer nuts to a sheet of parchment paper and separate them from each other.
  • 4 Allow to harden for 5-7 minutes and cool. Store in a Ziploc® brand bag.
Make the squash
  • 1 Preheat oven to 400°
  • 2 Toss squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • 3 Roast undisturbed for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
Assemble the salad
  • 1 Place the roasted butternut squash in a bowl or serving platter.
  • 2 Top with candied walnuts, pickled onions (a few go a long way since their flavor is strong), crumbles of fresh goat cheese, and a little chopped parsley. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and  pepper, and serve immediately.