Butternut Squash Salad with Piquillo Peppers

Butternut Squash Salad with Piquillo Peppers

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From: EatingWell Magazine, October 2019

Sour celery pickles, tangy goat cheese, spicy peppers and sweet roasted butternut squash seasoned with fragrant coriander and cumin create a flavor explosion for a tasty alternative to leafy greens in this healthy salad recipe from chef Steve McHugh of the restaurant Cured in San Antonio. The salad is not just delicious—it also contains anti-inflammatory foods, including the squash, pecans and black pepper.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 1⅓ cups water, divided
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus ¾ teaspoon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 8 cups cubed (1-inch) peeled butternut squash
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar piquillo peppers, rinsed and sliced
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Combine 1 cup water, rice vinegar, jalapeño, sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, ginger and mustard seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place celery in a heatproof bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over it. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain, reserving the celery, jalapeño and mustard seeds.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss squash, 2 tablespoons oil, coriander, cumin and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared pan and roast, stirring once, until tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Whisk red-wine vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in the large bowl. Add the squash and peppers; stir to coat.
  5. Whisk goat cheese, the remaining ⅓ cup water and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Spread the mixture on a serving platter and top with the squash, celery, jalapeño, mustard seeds, pecans and cilantro.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate pickled celery, roasted squash and the goat cheese mixture separately for up to 1 day.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 cup
  • Per serving: 289 calories; 23 g fat(4 g sat); 6 g fiber; 18 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 33 mcg folate; 7 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 13,621 IU vitamin A; 20 mg vitamin C; 94 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 421 mg sodium; 437 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (272% daily value), Vitamin C (33% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 4½ fat, 1 starch, ½ medium-fat protein, ½ vegetable

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