Raw Butternut Squash Salad ♥

Raw Butternut Squash Salad
Today's salad recipe: It's one thing to eat raw tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini. But winter squash? When grated small, winter squash is surprisingly tender. Pair it with a little fresh ginger and add some dried fruit for sweetness. This is a salad that will delight the eyes and the tastebuds! A small serving is "low carb" and even a larger serving adds up to only 1 Weight Watchers point (old points) or 2 Weight Watchers points (PointsPlus).

As sweet as vegetables can turn once they're cooked, especially when they're roasted slowly in a hot oven, every once in awhile, "raw" vegetables can really hit the spot.

I first made this salad last fall -- on the very day the recipe was published in the New York Times. I made no notes, I wrote no post, mostly because mid-November didn't strike me as the "right time" for a raw winter squash salad. But I did take a pretty picture and it kept popping up when perusing the photo files for the scores of "work in process" recipes, many which are too "meh" or too "something" to meet my high standards for both A Veggie Venture and Kitchen Parade.

But the first small winter squash are showing up both at the farmers market and the grocery store. They're especially perfect for this raw salad -- because the flesh is slightly more tender, the proportion of flesh:seeds&gunk is high. And just like the Butternut Squash Soup with Mango & Toasted Coconut, it strikes me as a great "transitional" salad, one that spans the season, when the weather is still warm and

And -- Canadians readers, are you there? This would be a great side salad for Canadian Thanksgiving coming up so quickly now, especially with dried cranberries instead of dried currants.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 3 cups

1 small butternut squash (about 1-1/2 pounds to yield 1 pound of edible squash)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons good light-colored vinegar (for example, champagne, white wine, sherry, rice)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (I use jars of ginger)
1/4 cup currants or dried cranberries (see TIPS)
Salt & pepper to taste

Trim and slice off the skin of the "neck" of a butternut squash -- twice, it's yielded exactly one-pound of sweet winter squash flesh. (How? How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers.) Grate the squash on the large holes of a hand grater (see TIPS). Stir in the remaining ingredients.

MAKE AHEAD Combine all the ingredients, cover and refrigerate. Much to my surprise, the texture doesn't really change (at least over 24 hours) and the squash doesn't discolor either.

I thought a mandoline would make "prettier" pieces of squash. But a butternut squash is too tough for a mandoline, it just won't slide through. In contrast, a three-sided grated, with a little elbow grease, worked just great.
I have the idea that most people will find a full half cup of this salad to be "a lot". So volume-wise, three cups could go a long ways, a spoonful at a time, almost more like a salsa or relish.
I always choose currants over raisins -- they are less sweet. And because they are smaller, a smaller quantity will "go further" when distributed in a salad or cookies or whatever. Dried cranberries are nearly always large -- so I'd recommend chopping them a little to distribute better.
For texture contrast, I might top with a few toasted almonds or toasted pecans.

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~ Raw Beet, Carrot & Kohlrabi Salad ~
~ Raw Beet Salad ~
~ Gorgeous Raw Asparagus Salad ~
~ Celeriac Slaw ~
~ more "unusually raw" recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

A Veggie Venture is home of winter-squash lover and 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Very interesting idea, would love to try it!

  2. Hi! This sounds wonderful. I do have a winter squash question. One of my favorite varieties is the Delicata squash, but several times in the last few years I have purchased specimens that turned out to be bitter or plain tasting when cooked. Is there any way to tell which winter squash will be properly tasty or "ripe"? I used to thing they all were, but this has happened to me several times with various varieties (although maybe not ever with butternut). All ideas welcome!

  3. Kalyn ~ Glad you like it! I was much impressed!

    Karen ~ Great question, actually. I've had the same thing happen, though not with Delicata but with butternut! In fact, it happened the first time during my first year of blogging about vegetables so the side-by-side comparisons are documented, see Roasted Butternut Squash.

    I wonder, some times, since winter squash keeps so long, whether what we get are actually this year's crop. And there are also the vagaries of season - this year's tomatoes, for example, are nothing to crow about. I even had a disappointing batch of beets a couple of weeks ago, especially disconcerting because they were "local-organic-just-dug" (read "expensive").

    This is a long way to answer, "I'm not sure".

    But other readers, any thoughts on Karen's question?

  4. I love the sound of this salad. Butternut squash is one of my favorite veggies. The thought never occurred to me to grate it and eat raw. I'm trying the recipe this week. It sounds healthy, light and delicious!

  5. Butternut Squash is the perfect veggie to be serving at this time of year

  6. Wow, what a great concept! This is a great recipe! You are so inventive with your use of all winter squash. Thanks - I'll definitely be giving this a try.

  7. We cannot get butternut squash here (well, not easily), but might try this with regular yellow winter squash.
    And I've been using currants a lot recently myself - I like how they look like dark pearls - and they're indeed better for cookies!

  8. Butter Nut squash are the best cooked with apples and butter

  9. I've just started experimenting with raw butternut squash in my recipes - wish I discovered it sooner!

  10. I just have to try this. I love Butternut Squash and have never tried it raw....must do!! Thanks!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna