Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Pomegranate & Black Sesame

By Yankee Magazine

Jun 28 2019

Inn at Hastings Park

The meal included this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Pomegranate and Black Sesame alongside Herb-Crusted Standing Rib Roast and Crispy, Caramelized Sweet Potatoes.

Photo Credit : Mark Fleming

Fans of Top Chef may know Stacy Cogswell from her star turn in season 12, when she was a hometown contender in the Boston-based production. But our favorite TV moment with Cogswell happened on Weekends with Yankeewhen, as executive chef at the Inn at Hastings Park, she prepared a gorgeous holiday feast for an audience of Yankee staffers and New England artisans (she has since moved on to open her own restaurant, Parlour, in Brookline, Massachusetts). Among her many standout dishes at the holiday dinner was this hearty squash salad, dressed up with an easy-to-make black sesame puree that added nutty flavor and a dramatic streak of color on the plate. It’s perfect as a holiday party starter or as a light meal unto itself.


6 servings

For the salad


1 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide batons
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups arugula leaves
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds


Preheat oven to 400° and set a rack to the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the squash with canola oil, thyme leaves, kosher salt, and pepper. Spread this out onto the prepared baking sheet and roast until squash is tender and browned at the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Next make the sesame puree and vinaigrette (recipes below).

In a large bowl, toss the arugula with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat (extra vinaigrette will keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks).

To assemble the salad, smear a dollop of sesame paste on each of six plates, then divide squash batons equally among the plates. Arrange a small pile of arugula on each plate, then garnish with pomegranate seeds.

For the sesame puree


1 cup black sesame seeds
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste


In a blender, combine sesame seeds, oil, and kosher salt to taste. Blend until smooth, then taste and add salt as needed. Set aside.

For the vinaigrette


2 cups apple cider
2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/2 medium clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil


Pour apple cider into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced to 2/3 cup. Set aside to cool.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, kosher salt, and pepper. Shake well, then let sit for 10 minutes. Add canola oil and shake to emulsify. When cider has cooled to room temperature, add that and shake to blend.