Franco’s Butternut Squash Salad

Franco’s Butternut Squash Salad

Franco’s Butternut Squash Salad:  A fun, easy, fall recipe to help you to incorporate autumn squash into your diet, and reap all the amazing health benefits that glorious gourds possess.



Butternut Squash Salad


  • Butternut Squash – 1 medium sized, peeled and seeded
  • Sugar – 1 1/2 Tablespoons
  • Salt – a good pinch or two
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic – 2-3 cloves, lightly smashed and peeled
  • Sherry Vinegar – 1 Tablespoon
  • Fresh Thyme – leaves, 1/2 teaspoon chopped  for dressing the salad and 2-3 whole sprigs to add when baking the squash.
  • Black Pepper – coarsely ground ( to taste)
  • Pumpkin Seeds – 2 Tablespoons
  • Dried Cherries – 4 Tablespoons
  • 2 Parchment-lined baking tray


  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Using a vegetable peeler, shave the butternut squash halves crosswise into strips, as if peeling a carrot.
  • Place strips into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the sugar and a pinch of salt.
  • Toss well and let sit for 10-15 minutes
  • Once oven is preheated, add the crushed garlic to the bowl along with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
  • Drizzle in in some olive oil, just enough to coat the squash. Divide and spread the squash mixture in a single layer onto the 2 parchment-lined baking tray.
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the edges begin to curl and slightly brown.
  • Remove and let cool completely before dressing the salad.
  • Once cool, remove the garlic and thyme sprigs. Add the cooked strips to a salad bowl.
  • Sprinkle with the sherry vinegar, chopped thyme, and fresh cracked black pepper.
  • Toss carefully. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  • Garnish with the dried cherries and pumpkin seeds and serve.

Tip – This dish can also be made without cooking the squash.  Simply follow all instructions and omit the baking. It is delicious as a raw salad and even quicker to make.