Once upon a time, there was a cozy little cafe called Dragonfly. It was owned by a lovely young woman, who poured her heart and soul into the cafe, not to mention all of her time.
Dragonfly became a huge success, garnering awards left and right by the local media, and that just made the owner work harder and harder. Eventually, she sold the cafe because it was consuming her life — and her health.
A friend emailed me the other day to say that she had dined at Dragonfly (under the new owners) and it was no longer the same. I already knew that because a little over a year ago, I reviewed the cafe for the local paper. We lamented about the demise of the signature salad – roasted butternut squash — and so, in tribute, I roasted some butternut squash this weekend, recreating the lovely flavors of this fantastic salad. Almost.
I didn’t make a cognac vinaigrette to go over the salad, but instead made a maple sherry vinaigrette. Below is a method for roasting butternut squash. Once roasted, you can serve it warm, or let it cool and top a salad with it. Dragonfly Cafe’s signature salad, in addition to the roasted butternut squash and red onions, had toasted walnuts, bacon, goat cheese and port soaked raisins atop baby greens. Just lovely.
Roasted Butternut Squash
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 red onion, peeled and cut into similar size cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Toss the squash and red onions with the oil and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once, until squash is browned and the onion is tender.