This squash-centric salad has an irresistible pecan dressing and hardy radicchio that refuses to wilt. The palm-size 898 squash, a new cousin of the beloved honeynut developed by vegetable breeder–mad genius Michael Mazourek, tastes like a turbocharged butternut. It’s now rolling out at farmers’ markets, select grocery stores, and online grocers across the country. Preheating the baking sheet will help the squash sizzle and sear as soon as it hits the pan rather than steam and stick. See all of the Absolutely, Positively Perfect Thanksgiving recipes here.
6 898, honeynut, or delicata squash, halved, seeds removed, sliced into 1"-thick half-moons
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Vinaigrette and Assembly
1 tsp. plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil; plus more for drizzling
½ small shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 small heads of radicchio, leaves separated, torn if large
½ medium Asian pear, thinly sliced
3 oz. Piave cheese or Parmesan, shaved
Place racks in middle and lower third of oven and set a rimmed baking sheet on each; preheat oven to 450°. Toss squash with oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Remove baking sheets from oven and divide squash between them, arranging in a single layer. Roast, rotating sheets halfway through, until browned and tender, 15–25 minutes. Set squash aside; reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Do Ahead: Squash can be roasted 1 day ahead. Let cool, then transfer to an airtight container. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature or heat slightly in a microwave before using.
Vinaigrette and Assembly
Toss pecans with 1 tsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt. Toast on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Set ½ cup pecans aside for serving.
Blend shallot, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, ¼ cup lemon juice, and remaining pecans in a blender until mostly smooth. With motor running, gradually stream in ½ cup oil and blend until emulsified and smooth. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Toss radicchio and half of dressing in a large bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter. Toss reserved squash with remaining dressing in the same bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper. Arrange over radicchio.
Toss Asian pear with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl. Top salad with Asian pear, cheese, parsley, and reserved pecans. Squeeze juice from lemon half over and drizzle with oil; season with more salt and pepper.
Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made 1 day ahead. Bring to room temperature before using.
Recipe by Christina Chaey and Claire SaffitzReviews SectionI'm not sure if this review will make it. But I am so tired of reading reviews of recipes that don't follow the recipe or use the ingredients. Then, giving it a bad rating. What's next, a vegan reviewing a recipe for steak au poivre, subbing tofu, then complaining the dish was bland derp 2 stars.cybersub8186975Studio City, California08/02/20Soaking the radicchio leaves in Icy water for a few hours will take away the bitterness.The recipe could use some weights and measures.AnonymousPortland OR via France03/02/20Made this salad four times now! and it never fails to impress!This is a very good salad and visually stunning. I added some fun leaf lettuces to break up the bitter from the radicchio and it made it even prettier. I also added mint, which was bomb.AnonymousLos Angeles12/09/19The dressing for this is MONEY. It should be bottled for sure. The radicchio is too bitter for my liking. The squash is good. All the toppings are good. I'd love to make it again but the radicchio has got to go. There has to be another leafy veg that could work for this.ohmystarsNew York, NY12/08/19I made this for thanksgiving this year! It made A LOT of salad - absolutely filled up a large platter. The majority of feedback I received was that it was "beautiful" - which is nice to hear, and I agreed! I found the radicchio to be a little bitter for my tastes, but it was a nice contrast to all the creamy, umami bombs of thanksgiving. There's really no way to get an 898 squash, as far as Google and I could tell - so I used some delicata and some butternut, cubed up. The different colors (yellow and orange respectively) were very pretty and they tasted wonderful - but I wish there was some way to quantify how much should be used (oz or lbs would work!)?I might try this again for a dinner party - it HAS inspired me to look at radicchio and winter squash in salads, which is a nice change!stickyheelsDurham, NC12/02/19I was very excited to try making this salad after watching the new Making Perfect series! Right off the bat I need to say that this review is not 100% accurate to the original recipe because I could not find 898 or honeynut squash, Piave, or radicchio. I used delicata squash, Parmesan cheese, and a mix of shredded cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts instead. I also wanted to make salads as lunch salads instead of a side, so I added in some shrimp to make it more of a meal. I hadn't used delicata squash before and they were....okay. I thought they were pretty bland for what is supposed to be a squash-centric salad. I wish the recipe had said how much salt and pepper to add, since you can't exactly taste and adjust the seasoning on raw squash, so mine were bland when they came out of the oven, but once I added more salt and pepper they tasted okay. They did get brown on the bottoms, especially the squash on the lower oven shelf. The dressing was very tasty if a little thick and labor intensive. When eating the final salad, I thought the Parmesan got lost with all of the other flavors. I even added more partway through eating it, but I still didn't notice it. Maybe Piave brings more to the party. Overall, the salad was pretty tasty, but I'm not sure if it's worth all the work to make it again. I'm also disappointed that I couldn't find three of the ingredients in an average grocery store. If I could find them, I might try making the salad again. I made salads in the past with roasted butternut squash and brussel sprouts, feta, shredded chicken, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and a pomegranate vinaigrette which I thought were more tasty and less work, so I would probably make that instead if I were craving a squash salad.dreaming_of_foodSan Diego11/24/19Made this recently and really enjoyed it, the dressing in particular was very tasty - thick, so you do benefit from dressing the leaves and the squash separately. I think you'd crush everything otherwise. The one thing though - I did NOT like the skin left on the squash. It was noticeably present even after roasting for a good long time, and everyone ended up just sort of scraping the squash out of the skin and eating it that way instead (and I used the prescribed honeynut, not delicata) Next time I'd definitely remove it and roast without.AnonymousMaryland11/23/19Can anyone tell me the approximate weight of the delicate squash for this salad? I am finding that they vary and “6” is throwing me off. Thanks.This is a great dish--crisp, bright autumn flavors. My only issue was the dressing comes out very thick because of pecans ground into the emulsion. This makes the dressing difficult to mix into vegetables. You can thin with oil or water, but then need to season it again because that dilutes the flavor.Sorry if this is an unfathomly dumb question but are you supposed to leave the skin on and eat it? I roasted some honeynuts and found the skin quite tough! Or is the skin just for presentation?AnonymousWashington DC11/10/19Made this salad this past weekend and it was a HIT!!!! Beyond delicious! and that pecan dressing, was the boooomb!!Thank you for sharing!yunky141473New Jersey 10/29/19
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