I love the depth of flavors and textures this salad offers. When creating a dish, the more depth you add the better the experience will be. This dish offers just that. Butternut squash makes us think fall and winter, and tossing it with cinnamon brings a very warm feeling. Pomegranates are in season in the colder months and these sweet antioxidant-packed fruits are festive--you are sure to impress if you put these sexy little babies on your salad for a gathering. Salted pumpkin seeds bring more seasonality to the dish and spiced nuts round out the flavor profile with a spicy crunch. Finish with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette to add a touch of sour tang.
Prep time: 40 minutes
1lb mixed spring greens
1 pomegranate cleaned and seeded or 1 cup pre-cleaned seeds
1 cup butternut squash diced
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted and salted
½ cup candied pecans chopped
½ cup feta (optional)
2 tsp Olive Oil
Cinnamon to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Yields 10 servings
¾ cup & 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mustard (dijon)
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp Salt
8 turns of Pepper Grinder
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Peel the skin of the butternut and cut away the ends. Then cut the butternut into 2 pieces right at the part where the long stem starts the seed pouch. You will have a long cylinder that you can slice and dice. For the bottom part, scoop out the seeds and then slice and dice the round portion of the butternut. Toss with olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Roast butternut squash for 15-20 minutes until fork tender.
- Meanwhile prepare your pecans by tossing them in the maple syrup, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. You can put the pecans in the oven at the 15 minute mark of your butternut-squash and finish them together.
- Additionally, deseed the pomegranate by cutting it in half horizontally. In a bowl over the sink lightly squeeze the fruit to loosen up the structure, then face the pomegranate seed side down in your palm over the bowl and knock seeds out with a wooden spatula or rolling pin. Remove any white flesh from the bowl when you are done and set aside 1 cup.
- If you are preparing to serve right away, prepare your dressing by combining all ingredients and lastly slowly whisking in the olive oil to emulsify the dressing.
- Once the butternut squash has finished and cooled, toss the mixed greens with dressing and top with squash, pomegranate aerials, pumpkin seeds and pecans.