I based this wonderful fall salad around three things I had on hand: Roasted butternut squash, a ripe pomegranate, and Marcona almonds-- the sweet, heart-shaped Spanish variety of almond that is blanched and then fried lightly in olive oil and sea salt (you can purchase them at Costco or gourmet shops). This is one of my favorite salads, with perfectly complementary textures and flavors along with vivid fall colors.
- 6 cups mixed salad greens
- pomegranate seeds, from one pomegranate
- 1⁄3 cup marcona almonds
- crumbled goat cheese (optional)
SPICE-ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH INGREDIENTS
- 1⁄2 large butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- PREPARING THE SQUASH:
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Cut ends off butternut squash, peel, and slice lengthwise.
- Remove seeds and chop into 1 inch cubes.
- In a medium bowl, combine spices, oil and vinegar into a paste.
- Add squash and toss until coated.
- Arrange the squash cubes in one layer in a roasting pan.
- Roast for 20 minutes, toss once, and cook for an additional 25 minutes or until the squash is browned and is tender throughout.
- Cool to room temperature.
- PREPARING THE DRESSING:
- Combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard and black pepper in a jar; shake thoroughly to combine.
- ASSEMBLING THE SALAD:
- Add just enough dressing to the salad greens to coat the leaves very lightly.
- Add squash and pomegranate seeds; toss gently.
- Sprinkle marcona almonds and goat cheese (optional) on salad just before serving.