A Daily Dinner: Butternut Squash Salad with Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese

Butternut Squash Salad with Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese

Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of salads. So many of them consist of wilted, soggy greens, watery dressing and nothing more. Even though I love vegetables, there’s nothing appealing about flavorless lettuce.

This salad, however, totally changed my tune: roasted, crunchy hazelnuts (an excellent source of protein and fiber!), sweet roasted butternut squash, and pungent blue cheese, served over lightly-dressed fresh greens.

We chose a Danish blue for this salad because its firmness, combined with a milky-sweet flavor. Danish blue is made in the same style as one of our other favorite cheeses, Roquefort, except it’s made with cow’s milk rather than sheep’s milk.

I roasted the hazelnuts at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready once the nutty, irresistible smell comes seeping out of the oven. Once they’re done roasting, rub the nuts between a clean dish towel to remove their papery skins (which you can then throw away).

Butternut Squash, Hazelnuts and Danish Blue Cheese

Butternut Squash Salad With Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese
Adapted from RealSimple.com

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 c. roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Mixed greens
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, the remaining 3 tbsp. of oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the squash, hazelnuts, greens, and onion and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the blue cheese.

Salad with roasted butternut squash, greens, blue cheese, and hazelnuts

Yes, just two steps for one of the most tasty salads ever.

The unctuous blue cheese is the perfect accompaniment for the slightly tart dressing, pleasantly sweet roasted butternut squash, and crunchy hazelnuts. Everything about this salad screams fall and, luckily for me, there are no soggy greens in sight.

The act of peeling, cutting up and roasting a butternut squash might seem arduous, but I promise, everything else is so easy and the end result so good that you certainly won’t regret it.

- Laura


  1. Manding
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 09:02:53

    i will make this tonight! THANK YOU.
    ps, http://amandamantes.blogspot.com !


  2. rebecca
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 12:02:49

    this looks like the salad i keep coming back to at Co.


  3. Suites at Silver Towers
    Nov 03, 2011 @ 16:55:21

    This looks amazing! We definitely are going to have to stop by the 57th Street Greenmarket to grab some squash. We need to give this recipe a test soon rather than later!


  4. Christin
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 07:08:22

    Looks delicious! I love a fall salad. Just wish those darn butternuts weren’t so awkward to cut!


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 04, 2011 @ 10:38:07

      I know! (Sometimes I cheat and buy tubs of the pre-cut squash from our grocer.) -LR


  5. BeeBee Cavendish
    Nov 10, 2011 @ 07:04:30

    I have just made a version of this after seeing the picture over on pinterest. I loved the hit of warm unctious butternut with the just melting stilton that I used.

    Thank you so much. I have tracked back to your original recipe from my blog.


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 10, 2011 @ 12:16:15

      So glad you liked it! We love stilton, too—I’m sure it was delicious.


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