Crispy Butternut Squash Spinach Winter Braai Salad with Bacon


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  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed or cut into half moons
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 5 oz. baby spinach (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 c. pecans, toasted and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 225° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Arrange butternut squash on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, fry bacon over medium heat until crisp, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and transfer bacon grease to a small bowl.
  4. In the same skillet, cook shallot over medium-high heat until tender, 4 minutes. Stir in red wine vinegar and brown sugar and mix well. Whisk in 2 tablespoons bacon grease and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place spinach in a large bowl. Add pecans and roasted butternut squash and pour over warm vinaigrette, tossing gently to combine. Serve immediately.

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