Butternut Squash Salad with Herbed Bread Crumbs and Basil Mayonnaise

Today we are leaning on the building blocks of flavor, which are key structural components to any recipe. Salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami are our basic components — without them, our squash is beautiful yet bland. This butternut squash summer salad brings those blocks together into a fresh and flavorful construction. Onion and garlic olive oil coat slices of squash, which are pan-seared then topped with toasted herb bread crumbs. The tender slices are then plated alongside delicate greens with a light basil-mayonnaise dressing.

Butternut Squash Salad with Herbed Bread Crumbs and Basil Mayonnaise

Cook the butternut squash – In a medium bowl toss the butternut squash slices with the onion, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium. Cook the butternut squash, turning every 3 minutes, until deeply browned on both sides and tender, about 15 minutes.

Make the bread crumbs – Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, parsley, panko, orange zest, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the panko are an even, golden-brown color. Let cool.

Make the basil mayonnaise –  Add the mayonnaise and bail to a high speed blender and purée until smooth. Chill until ready to use.

Assemble the salad – Divide the salad between four plates. Top each salad with two slices of butternut squash. Top the butternut squash with a large spoon of toasted bread crumbs. Drizzle with basil mayonnaise and garnish with chives.


serves four


  • 1 large butternut squash, preferably with a long neck, peeled and cut in ¾” slices
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste


  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil, chopped


  • 4 oz tender local lettuce


  • 2 tbsp cut chives