I seem to eat more than my fair share of simple carbohydrates and protein during the holidays. Some days, I just want a nice, hearty salad. Tonight was such an evening.
My friend Donna brought this salad to a recent get together…and I fell in love. The colors make it festive, and I loved the addition of the butternut squash that is roasted with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
I love the variety of the squash and pumpkins that are available now at farmer’s market, and I incorporate what I’d like to try in here, whether it’s white acorn squash or sugar pumpkin, and of course there is my favorite, kabocha. I like the sweetness that comes from roasting these vegetables.
The other special ingredient in this salad is pomegranate, which is also mirrored in the pomegranate molasses that is drizzled over the top of the salad. I’ve found that taking the pomegranate seeds apart from the pith in a bowl of water is the easiest and least messy method of getting at these jeweled seeds.
I also make the dressing separately, using the zest from the citrus that I am using, so it’s easier to make a single serving of the salad, and to keep the left overs for tomorrow’s lunch.
I have already made this several times and you know what happens once a recipe becomes part of your repertoire. It gets tinkered with. I’ve not changed it around a bit too much from the original, but here is my take on a wonderful winter salad.
My New Favorite Winter Salad
Adapted from Autumn Farmer’s Market Salad (Bon Appétit October 2008)
yield:Makes 6 servings
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups 1-inch cubes peeled seeded winter squash. The original calls for butternut squash, but it’s a great opportunity to try different types of squashes!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
- Coarse kosher salt
- Juice and zest of 1/2 an orange
- Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
- Olive oil or walnut oil, about 3 Tbsp — should be about 1/2 the volume of the juices of the citrus from above.
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 ounces arugula (about 8 cups lightly packed)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (optional)
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss squash, olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper and roast on baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and a bit browned on the edges.
Zest and juice 1/2 and orange, zest and juice 1/2 a lemon, and shake together in a container with the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, add arugula. Toss with dressing (do not drench the greens, but use enough dressing just to coat the greens — my dressing ratio is about 2x what the original recipe calls for). Add warm or room temperature squash, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses, if using, and serve.