Roasted Leek and Butternut Squash Salad

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Roasted Leek and Butternut Squash Salad
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This is a wonderful winter salad that can be served warm or at room temperature.

Yields: Serves 6-8


For the leeks:

3 cups leek rounds about 1/2” thick cut from white parts of 2-3 large leeks

1 T olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth, at room temperature

For the butternut squash:

3 1/2 to 4 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1” to 1 1/2” cubes

1 T olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

To roast the garlic:

1 head garlic

1/2 T olive oil

For the dressing:

1 large Granny Smith apple, diced to 1/2” (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted

2 T olive oil (good quality), divided

Pinch chili flakes

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1-2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (to taste)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lemon

Additional apple slices and nut halves for garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 325 (F). Place leek rounds on end, in an 8"x8” baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add just enough broth to cover rounds half way up their sides. Bake a total of 1 1/4 to 2 hours, until leeks are tender and sweet but not mushy when tested with a fork. About 45 minutes in to the cooking time, carefully flip leeks over, as best you can, so the tops can be braised in broth to avoid drying out. By the time leeks are done, however, most of broth will be either evaporated or absorbed by leeks, which prevents them from being too watery when added to salad.

Pile the squash pieces on one rimmed cookie sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and rub with your hands to coat evenly with oil, then spread coated pieces across two cookie sheets, being sure to leave a little room around pieces (so they brown, rather than steam.) Bake at 325 (F), until browned on bottom sides (about 30-45 minutes), then flip pieces and continue baking until browned on the other side (about 30-45 more minutes.) If one pan is on the bottom rack of oven, switch it with the pan on the top rack for even cooking.

To roast the garlic:

Rub a garlic head with oil and place it in a small baking dish or garlic roaster. Cover the dish, place in oven and bake at 325 (F) until soft and squishy when squeezed (about 45-60 minutes.)

For the dressing:

When vegetables are almost done, cut the apple and toast the nuts. Place in a medium-sized serving bowl. Into the same pan used to toast nuts, pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add chili flakes and warm over low heat for 5-10 minutes to flavor oil, stirring frequently to prevent burning, then remove immediately from heat.

Once the garlic is roasted and has cooled enough to handle, squeeze the meat into a small bowl. Pour in the chili-oil, along with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and mash together with a fork. Add the vinegar, rosemary and salt and pepper and whisk lightly with fork to combine. Taste and add more vinegar, rosemary, or salt and pepper, to taste.

When the squash and leeks are done, add them to the serving bowl with the nuts and apples. Pour the dressing over the top and toss gently to combine. Squeeze fresh lemon juice (about 1 -2 tablespoons or to taste) over the top. Garnish with additional apple slices and nuts, if desired.

This winter salad is best served at room temperature, so don’t worry if it sits while the rest of the meal is finished. When actually serving, be sure to scoop from bottom of bowl to get some of the dressing which always sinks to the bottom.

Additional Tips

Recipe from the Collection of
Healthy Eating Coach Mary Collette Rogers
author of Take Control of Your Kitchen

Recipe by
Mary Rogers