A crispy butternut squash and spinach salad sounds great, but adding to the mix a bacon shallot vinaigrette makes it even better!
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed or cut into half moons
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
5 ounces baby spinach (about 6 cups)
½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
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.
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 discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.
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 more tablespoons bacon grease and season with salt and pepper.
Place spinach in a large bowl. Add pecans and roasted butternut squash and pour over warm vinaigrette, tossing gently to combine. Serve immediately.