Top Chef fan favorite Chris Crary serves this GIGANTIC roasted squash and apple salad straight off the table.
- 3 butternut squash
- 6 Granny Smith apples
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 cup
- One pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 4 pints fresh figs
- 4 Honeycrisp apples
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 pounds wild arugula, preferably organic
- 2 cups walnut halves, roasted and salted
- 2 cups pomegranate seeds
- 16 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- ½ cup pomegranate molasses
- Butcher paper, for the table (preferably 24 to 30 inches wide)
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Peel the butternut squash. Halve lengthwise and remove the seeds. Slice squash crosswise into ¾- to 1-inch-thick slices and place in a large bowl or baking sheet.
Peel and core the granny smith apples. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and add to the butternut squash.
Toss the squash and apples with the thyme, 2 tablespoons olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, then arrange on 3 to 4 large rimmed baking sheets. Roast until soft, but not mushy, 12 to 16 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Cut the figs in half and set aside. Core and thinly slice the Honeycrisp apples and set those aside as well.
For the dressing, in a 16-ounce mason jar, combine the balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 cup olive oil, Dijon, salt and pepper and shake vigorously.
Cover the dining table or a surface with 2 to 3 layers of butcher paper, to prevent the food from soaking through and damaging the table. (A tablecloth may be used underneath the butcher paper as well.)
Arrange about two-thirds of the roasted squash and apples across the table. Scatter arugula on top, then add the remaining roasted squash and apples. Top with the figs, sliced apples, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese and vinaigrette. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses.
Place serving plates and forks at one end of the table.