03 Dec Butternut squash, beetroot and cranberry salad
This salad is so versatile and so delicious, it is perfect for any holiday party you may be hosting! I think it’s important to get into the habit of serving salads in our holiday meals. Every year, I realize that people are looking for freshness and salads always go first in buffets. Yes, the other heartier dishes also go fast definitely as it’s the holidays and we are excited to eat foods we don’t get to enjoy often. The ideal is to be able to fill our plates with variety. I always recommend during a festive buffet to feature at least one green salad made of simple greens (spinach, kale, arugula) and a more elaborate salad made with other vegetables, fruits, nuts or seeds such as this one.
Ingredients (6 servings as a side or 2-3 meal size salads)
- 1 container of pre-washed spinach 142 g (you can also use arugula or kale)
- 1 small butternut squash (see instructions below)
- 2 medium roasted beets (see instructions below)
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (you can also use freshly roasted cranberries)
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese feta (goat cheese can also be used)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (and more for roasting vegetables)
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To roast beets, cut both ends leaving a small part of stem; do not remove skin. Wash well, rub with a few drops of olive oil and wrap each beet with aluminum foil. On a baking sheet, roast in a 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on size. They will be ready when you can pierce the flesh with a fork. Remove from the oven and unwrap from aluminum foil. Let them rest until they have cooled down and are easy to handle. Remove the skin by hand; the skin will be easy to remove at this point but you’re your fingers will be stained (wash well after). For the salad, cut beets into small cubes.
- To roast the squash, peel with a vegetable peeler, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds with a spoon and cut into slices about 1 cm thick (you will obtain half-moons). In a bowl, mix the slices with 1 tbsp. olive oil and place them side by side on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and roast in the same oven at 425 degrees. The sliced squash will cook much faster than the beets. It should take about 20 minutes and you can flip them at half time so that they become equally roasted on both sides. When the squash slices are a little golden on the edges, remove from the oven, let cool and cut the slices into 3 or 4 pieces for the salad.
- For the dressing, in a small bowl, mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup with a small whisk.
- To assemble the salad, I like slicing my spinach thinly but this is completely optional. Transfer to a big serving bowl, add squash pieces, diced beets, pumpkin seeds, pomegranates and cranberries. Pour the vinaigrette, mix everything and finish with the crumbled feta and the chopped rosemary on top. You can adjust by adding olive oil or balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!!