Photo by Quentin Bacon
This salad is a true celebration of the tastes and colors of the fall-winter season, with chunks of sweet, orange squash contrasting the juicy, tart crunch of pomegranate, and nutty toasted pumpkin seeds, all atop fresh leafy greens dressed in a maple-sweetened vinaigrette. It is a stunning way to start a holiday meal or to make an everyday dinner feel special. Add some roasted chicken, pork or beans to make it a main course.
4 cups (½-inch cubes) butternut squash (about 1 pound)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
⅓ cup hulled pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups lightly packed baby spinach, or baby kale
½ cup pomegranate arils
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 2 teaspoons of the maple syrup, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and place in a single layer on baking tray. Roast, stirring once, until tender and browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Spread the pumpkin seeds out on another baking tray and place in the oven until fragrant and toasted, 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the cider vinegar, the remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup, the mustard, the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. The salad may be made ahead up to this point.
To serve, toss the spinach with the dressing, put about 1¼ cup on each serving plate then top each with about ⅓ cup roasted squash, a heaping tablespoon of the pumpkin seeds, and 2 tablespoons of the pomegranate arils.
Store the roasted squash, toasted nuts, dressing, and washed and dried spinach separately in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature before serving.
To make an individual serving, toss 1 tablespoon of the dressing with 1[¼] cup spinach, then proceed with the remaining “to serve” directions.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 1¼ cup greens, ⅓ cup squash, 1 heaping tablespoon pumpkin seeds, and 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
Per serving: Calories 310; Total Fat 20g (Mono Fat 11.7g, Poly Fat 4g, Sat Fat 2.9g); Protein 8g; Carb 32g; Fiber 7g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 380mg
Excellent source of: Copper, Fiber, Folate, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K
Good source of: Calcium, Iron, Molybdenum, Niacin, Protein, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Zinc