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Butternut Squash Salad with Olives and Pickled Sumac Onions

January 2020
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For the Pickled Sumac Onions:

1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup hot water
2-3 (about 3 lbs.) red onions cut in half and thinly sliced
2 Tbs. ground sumac
1 cup balsamic vinegar

For the Squash Salad:

10 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 Tbs. black pepper
1 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. dried parsley
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups pitted Kalamata olives
Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme & 4 sprigs rosemary (pulse rosemary in spice grinder)
2 cups pickled sumac onions
12 oz. arugula
2 cups shaved Asiago cheese


For the Pickled Sumac Onions:

Dissolve the sugar in the hot water in a large bowl. Add the onions and sumac and mix together. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the onions and press them down so they remain covered. You want them sitting in the vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. This quick pickling method will reduce the bitter taste of the onions, so they’re slightly sweet and tangy.

For the Squash Salad:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Toss the butternut squash with the salt, pepper, paprika, parsley, and olive oil. Spread the squash out on two rimmed baking sheets and roast it, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes, until fork tender. Cool to room temperature. If you’d like to eat the salad warm, that’s delicious, too; it will just wilt the arugula.

Toss the olives with the thyme and rosemary and roast for 10 minutes, until fragrant and wrinkly. Cool to room temperature.

To assemble the salad, gently toss together the roasted squash and roasted olives with the pickled sumac onions, arugula, and shaved Asiago.