Butternut squash orzo salad

A bright, seasonally festive side to serve on Thanksgiving and all winter long!

Makes 6-8 servings


1/2 box Orzo

1 large butternut squash

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup roasted walnuts, broken into pieces

1 1/4 cup microgreens

1/2 small shallot, diced finely.

salt & pepper

Browned butter vinaigrette

3/4 stick butter

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

salt & pepper

Recipe by Alyssa

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and add in some olive oil when you stir in the orzo to avoid sticking. Stir often and cook to package directions.

Meanwhile, carefully cut up the butternut squash and dice into small, neat squares. Place on baking sheets and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. I've noticed that if you leave a little room for the pieces to breath, they roast up nicer. If the squash is too crammed on to the pan, it ends up being steamed more than roasted.

Check after 15 minutes and flip the squash so that the pieces get browned on both sides. Cook for about another 10 minutes. Check often to ensure they don't burn. Take out and set aside to cool once caramelized on both sides.

Roast walnut pieces in a dry pan, flipping often so that they don't burn. Once you smell them, they're ready. Set aside and cool.

Once all the components are ready, chop up the shallot and put everything but the micro greens into a large bowl. Set aside.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a light colored pan (so you can see the butter's coloring), and cook until it's brown and smells toasty. Pour into a bowl, add the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients, and whisk. Start just shy of the recommended amount of apple cider vinegar- depending on the brand, it can be really strong and you may not like things as acidic as I do. Salt and pepper a little heavily than you normally would to account for the orzo not having much seasoning.

To assemble, toss the vinaigrette and the microgreens into the orzo mixture right before serving,  and eat immediately.