Butternut Squash & Pear Petal Salad

March 24th / 2018

The flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg may seem peculiar for late March, but because of the chill in the air here in DC, the fall flavors felt perfect. This salad has been on my mind to create for some time (since about the fall!).  I got a butternut squash from my farmer’s coop, so the time seemed ripe (if you pardon the pun).

The blend of the sweet pear and squash with the bitterness of the arugula is just terrific, and I was really pleased with how it came out. Honestly, I made up the aioli along the way with the ingredients I already had in my refrigerator.  I may try to figure out a way to make this dish without any dairy in the future.

In case you don’t know, harissa is a Tunisian paste made of roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers, and other hot chili peppers, spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, saffron, rose, or caraway.  I love the Mina spicy harissa sauce which you can find at Thrive Market here.


Butternut Squash & Pear Petal Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This salad is a lovely mix of textures and tastes. The roasted butternut squash and pear are soft and sweet. The aioli is spicy hot and smooth. And the arugula is bitter and rough. The hardest part is cutting up and preparing the butternut squash.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 1 servings
  • ½ of butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut in half and then sliced
  • 1 pear, seeded, cut in half and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 cups of arugula
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup labne (or greek yogurt)
  • ¼ cup macadamia nut milk (or other nut milk)
  • 2 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 Tbsp harrissa
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss the sliced butternut squash and pear in avocado oil.
  3. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and toss again. (In the photos above, I forgot this step and just sprinkled the spices after I'd laid out the slices for roasting)
  4. Lay out the butternut squash and pear evenly on a lined, rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Put tray oven to roast for 12-15 minutes or until browned.
  6. While butternut squash and pear are roasting, prepare alioli by mixing labne, with nut milk, juice of 1 lime, pressed garlic and harissa.
  7. Adjust to taste. Add more harissa if you like hot spice.
  8. Arrange slices of butternut squash and pear as alternating "petals' on a plate.
  9. Drip alioli on top (I made a pastry cone using parchment paper and cut of the tip to make a clean stream - this will work better with practice!)
  10. Add arugula on top and coat lightly with olive oil, juice of the other lime and salt flakes.


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