This roasted acorn squash is one of my favorite Italian side dishes. I toss it with dried cherries, pistachios and a light balsamic vinaigrette. It has such a delicious medley of flavors — sweetness from the squash, tartness from the cherries, and a little funkiness from the gorgonzola cheese. The vinaigrette keeps it light and fresh. I like using white balsamic vinegar here for a milder flavor and to prevent the dressing from turning a dark color.
This dish looks and tastes impressive, but it couldn’t be easier! Slicing the squash is the only work you have to do. I love using acorn squash for the flowery shape it has when cut into slices, but you can use whatever squash is your favorite. Prepare the dressing and the greens while the squash is roasting so you’re ready to serve when it’s warm.
Roasted Squash with Cherries and Pistachio
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the squash:
- 2 pounds of acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed and cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 cloves of garlic unpeeled and smashed
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/2 cup roasted pistachios
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 2 ounces gorgonzola dolce
- As seen on: Giada in Italy, Episode 11. Sunday Supper.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and the salt. Set aside.
- Place the squash wedges on a rimed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the rosemary sprigs and garlic. Cover the tray tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the tip of a knife goes into the squash easily. Remove the tray from the oven drizzle 3/4 of the vinaigrette over the squash and allow it to cool and absorb the dressing for about 10 minutes.
- To the bowl with the remaining dressing, add the cherries, pistachios and arugula. Toss gently to coat. Place the marinated squash wedges on a platter and top with the dressed greens. Sprinkle with crumbled gorgonzola and serve.