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Pear and Butternut Squash Salad with Ginger, Crispy Sage, and Hazelnuts

Serves 4

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    Pear and Butternut Squash Salad with Ginger, Crispy Sage, and Hazelnuts

    Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts.

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    Refrigerator tip

    Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.

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    Pear and Butternut Squash Salad with Ginger, Crispy Sage, and Hazelnuts

      Ingredients

      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) orange juice
      • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar
      • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) dried red pepper flakes
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) finely chopped fresh sage
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated gingerroot
      • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 lb/450 g)
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) blanched hazelnuts, skins removed
      • 1 tsp (1 mL) maple syrup
      • 24 fresh sage leaves
      • 4 cups (1 L) mixed greens such as arugula, lettuce, or mustards
      • 2 firm medium-sweet pears such as red or green Anjou
      • Pinch of flaky salt, for garnish

      Nutrition

      Per serving:

      • calories239
      • protein3 g
      • total fat17 g
        • sat. fat2 g
      • total carbohydrates23 g
        • sugars12 g
        • fibre5 g
      • sodium213 mg

      Directions

      01

      To make dressing, in nonreactive bowl, whisk together orange juice, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, chopped sage, and gingerroot and set aside.

      02

      Wash squash well and remove hard rind with peeler and discard. Once you have reached the squash’s orange flesh, continue peeling in long ribbons until you have about 3 cups (750 mL). Add dressing and toss gently to combine, coating all the ribbons. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

      03

      In dry pan over medium-high heat, toast hazelnuts, stirring constantly until just beginning to brown. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 30 seconds, then add maple syrup to the still-warm pan. Stir vigorously to coat hazelnuts and then tip them out onto a small piece of baking parchment or a silicone baking sheet to cool.

      04

      Just before serving, heat remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil on high until hot. Fry sage leaves in batches, for about 20 seconds, until crisp. Remove to plate lined with kitchen towel to drain. Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky salt.

      05

      To assemble salad, in serving bowl, toss mixed greens and butternut squash ribbons and their dressing together gently. Finely slice pears, leaving skin on, and arrange overtop salad. Top with crispy sage leaves and toasted hazelnuts.

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