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Decomposed Salad

  • Yield: Serves 8
Decomposed Salad

Source: Martha Stewart Living, Special Issue 2000


  • 1 butternut squash, (1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus a pinch
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 six-ounce head red or white endive, leaves separated
  • 1 ten-ounce head red-leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with rack in the lower third. Combine butternut squash, 1 1/2 shallots, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper in a bowl; toss to coat. Transfer the mixture to a Silpat-lined baking sheet, and roast until tender and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

  2. Place pumpkin seeds in a small nonstick skillet, and toast until the seeds begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with honey, and toss to coat.

  3. Finely mince the remaining 1/2 sliced shallot, and place in a large bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch each of black pepper and sugar; whisk to combine. Continue whisking, slowly drizzling in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the endive leaves, roasted squash, and shallots; toss to coat. Transfer the salad to a large platter, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

Reviews (2)

  • Chefbora 23 Oct, 2012

    I love, love this recipe, I served it last year at my Halloween party and it was a huge hit, this year it will be on my table again, the flavors are fantastic together and the guests, men and women like this salad...I always follow the recipes exactly the first time so I know what I can change, but this recipe is Spooktacular!

  • KMSchloss 9 Nov, 2011

    Delicious! I substituted green leaf lettuce and red radicchio for the greens. I served it with pizza after trick or treating and everyone ate it right up! I was even asked for the recipe. Note, I used shelled pumpkin seeds - pepitas.

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