Fall is here! Is it just me or has October flown by? Here is a story for you. Once upon a time, I loved squash. Butternut, acorn, summer squash, squash of all types. But then I got food poisoning after eating squash once, (probably unrelated to the preparation of said squash) and that was it for me. No. More. Squash.
At the end of the day, though, I felt so left out. Why is everyone eating squash without me? It didn't seem fair. So, this past weekend, I decided to tiptoe my way back into squash land. I decided to roast it, because anything roasted is delicious. I seasoned it with ample amounts of coarse salt and pepper and roasted it until the skin was tender and the flesh was creamy soft.
Since the squash was warm, I wanted greens that would wilt well. Olivia's Organics now sells a Power Greens mix that was perfect - spinach, baby romaine, and baby kale. If these are too much of a hassle to gather, just get baby spinach.
For the salad, you'll need:
- A blend of baby kale, spinach, baby romaine, or any hearty greens
- 1 acorn squash, washed and sliced (carefully with a sharp knife!)
- pomegranate seeds, about 1/2 a cup
- shaved parmesan (goat cheese or blue cheese would work well too)
- toasted honey roasted almonds, or any crunchy nut will do
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 400F. With a sharp knife, cut the acorn squash open. Scoop the seeds and stringy insides out with a spoon. Slice the rest of the squash, and cut each slice into halves. Toss with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven.
While that is in there, make the dressing, whisking all of the above ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, build your salad. Toss the greens in the dressing. Layer this onto the bottom of a plate. Then, building upwards, add two pieces of squash, then some pomegranates, some nuts, more greens, then squash, then pomegranates and nuts. Building layers allows each bite to have a little bit of each ingredient. If you are using crumbled goat or blue cheese, add those into the mix as well. I used shaved parmesan, which I added at the end.
This salad is chock full of good things, and is so hearty and filling. Anything with pomegranate seeds is delicious in my opinion, and their addition always makes for a particularly beautiful presentation.
Enjoy and be well.