Fall has finally hit us in Florida. We had a low of 48° which means the windows are open at night, best sleeping weather ever! I was even able to leave the windows open all afternoon, for a couple of days anyway, before the temperature went back up to the uppers 80’s. This was a nice treat, even for a few days as we don’t normally get colder weather until January. However, I am taking a trip for a NASA event to Virginia next weekend and I hear they are going to be experiencing a cold snap. I am excited I get to bust out my hat and mittens early.
However, the problem with the weather here in Florida is that we rarely get to experience the Fall – we go from summer to about a week of winter and right back to summer. We drink our Pumpkin Spice Lattes in 90° weather. On the other hand, we don’t have to wear heavy winter coats over our Halloween costumes.
As someone who grew up in the cold Northeast, I miss the change of seasons. I miss that crisp smell of Fall. We do our best to mimic the Fall as best we can – I burn candles called “Mountain Lodge” and “Autumn Leaves”, and I like to drink apple cider and add cinnamon to everything. I also love to cook with fall vegetables like carrots, squash, and beets. And by squash I mean butternut squash. Yellow squash to me is more of a summer veggie, but butternut squash to me is more Fall-like. Maybe it’s the orange color. Maybe it’s the sweeter taste it takes on when it gets cooked. I do love this current trend of vegetable spirals and on a recent trip to Whole Foods, I picked up a package of butternut squash “pasta”.
On a recent trip to Cleveland, I had visited the West Side Market and found The Olive and the Grape stand where I picked up a bottle of Carrot-Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar. I had been looking for just the right recipe to incorporate this into my dish and I found it. I made a Butternut Squash Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette. You don’t have to use the Carrot-Ginger Balsamic Vinegar, you could easily substitute an aged simple white balsamic vinegar or a red wine vinegar. (and by the way- this is not an affiliate link- I am not under a contract or an agreement with the shop.)
I was surprised how well it turned out. If only I had a fire going in my imaginary fireplace it would have really felt like Autumn to me. My next house will have a fireplace and I will have a fire going every time I cook something like butternut squash or sweet potatoes. That’s all.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups butternut squash spirals
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup diced fresh tomato
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 3 tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1/8 tsp. salt
In a jar with a tight lid, add the ingredients of the vinaigrette. Tightly seal the lid and shake vigorously until the vinaigrette is blended well.
Preheat a medium skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
Add the butternut squash.
Cook for 5 mminutes, stirring occasionally.
As the squash cooks, add the arugula, pine nuts, and diced tomatoes to a large mixing bowl.
Add the vinaigrette to the arugula and mix and toss well.
Remove the butternut squash from the heat and add to the bowl with the arugula.
Sprinkle the goat cheese onto the arugula and squash.
Toss the squash and goat cheese with the arugula mix.
Pin this recipe for Butternut Squash Arugula Salad later: