November 23, 2016

Put fall-fresh butternut squash to use in this delicious fall salad recipe.


‘Tis the season for family gatherings, holiday parties and times for celebration, and the harvests from Middle Tennessee only add to the splendor.

Recently, Rooted Community Health teamed up with Vandy Cooks, Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Sustain VU and the Vanderbilt Dietetics Internship Program for a hands-on cooking class preparing healthy party foods using vegetables from local organic farmers and producers.

We had butternut squash from Long Hungry Creek Farm, turnips and kale from Bells Bend Farms, arugula and apples from Green Door Gourmet, and sourdough bread from Gnarwhal Bakery. All of these ingredients made a delightful evening of community, cooking and healthy snacks that are perfect for gatherings. You can watch the Facebook Live stream here. This is the first recipe of four we will feature on My Southern Health from that event, which involved producers diligently working to provide healthy and sustainable food to Middle Tennessee.

The first recipe is a delightful fall salad that features butternut squash from Jeff Poppen of Long Hungry Creek Farm. Jeff has been farming with attention to soil and plant health for 40 years. He runs a Community Supported Agriculture program that provides 80 varieties of vegetables and herbs to 150 members in the Nashville area. Click here for more information about the farm and CSA program.


Recipe: Fresh Fall Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Adapted from Little Broken
Serves: 4
  • 3 cups butternut squash, diced
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • Fresh herbs (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and roast on a large baking sheet for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. While the squash is roasting, place the shallots into a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for 15 minutes; drain and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. While whisking, slowly pour in the remaining 1/3 cup of oil.
  4. To assemble the salad: Combine salad greens and shallots in a large bowl. Drizzle just enough vinaigrette to coat the salad lightly. Add the squash and apples. Drizzle with more dressing. Sprinkle with fresh herbs (optional) and serve.
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 268 Fat: 18 grams Saturated fat: 3 grams Carbohydrates: 26 grams Sugar: 11 grams Sodium: 180 mg Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 3 grams


This post was written by John Compton, M.Div., program coordinator of Rooted Community Health. This initiative of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society seeks to engage partners across Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee communities in service of ecological sustainability, health promotion and human flourishing. Rooted Community Health is committed to the health of our community, and a vital ingredient to that care is environmental flourishing. It is in that spirit that Rooted Community Health celebrates the hard work of farmers who attend to environmental sustainability and ethical practices.