Creamy Butternut Squash Salad

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I love potato salad and I love butternut squash in any way, shape or form.  So I thought I would try a butternut squash spin on potato salad.  This salad is delicious served warm or at room temperature, but it’s even better after it’s chilled for a couple of hours so the flavors deepen.

First I cubed and peeled butternut and mixed it with a little olive oil, dried roasemary, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.  I roasted it in the oven and about five minutes before it was done I added sliced sweet onions.  I wanted the onions too cook but still have some texture.

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While the squash roasted I boiled some eggs on the stove top.  Of course if you already have hard boiled eggs no problem!  I like to cook them lightly so the yolks are still yellow and soft.  My Mom taught me to bring the eggs to a boil and then cover the pan and take it off the heat for 8-10 minutes.  Then put the eggs in cold water until they are cool so they’re easier to peel and the yolks stay moist and yellow.  This technique also keeps the yolks from turning green.  (eww!)

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While the squash and eggs are cooking make the sauce/dressing.  I changed it a little bit from traditional potato salad dressing by using some melted lowfat cream cheese as the base, which I think adds a nice tang.  Then I added light mayo, greek yogurt, garlic, salt, pepper and a little red wine vinegar for some acidity.  Whisk it until it’s thick and creamy.

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When the squash was done I added some Parmesan and let it melt in a little bit.  (You can probably tell by now that Parmesan is one of my favorite cheeses) Then I added the sauce, the chopped eggs, some minced parsley and tasted for salt and pepper.

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Creamy Butternut Squash Salad:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

3 eggs

1 sliced sweet yellow onion

1/4 cup light mayo

2 tablespoons lowfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup lowfat cream cheese

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

2-3 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried Rosemary

a small handful of Italian parsley, chopped

2-3 cloves minced garlic

Olive oil

salt and pepper

Mix the butternut squash with a couple of tablespoons olive oil, rosemary,  1/2 the garlic and salt and pepper.  Roast on a sheet pan at 450 for about 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Add the sliced onions and roast about 5 more minutes and then remove from the oven.

While the squash roasts put the eggs on to boil – making sure they are covered in water.  As soon as they come to a boil turn off the heat and cover for 8 minutes, then transfer to a cold water bath.

Make the sauce by whisking the mayo, yogurt, warmed cream cheese, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Peel the eggs under cold water and roughly chop, leaving a couple of whole slices for garnish.

Combine squash, sauce, eggs, and parsley in a bowl.  Add parsley and sliced eggs for garnish.  At this point you can serve it as is, or you can chill the salad and serve it cold or warm.

I love the vibrant naturally sweet taste of the squash paired with the creamy tang of the dressing and the soft texture and taste of the eggs.  The garlic and the rosemary add a sharpness and robust flavor that keeps it from being too rich or sweet.  I hope you love it like I do!

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