Some people may think green salads should be left behind with the summer. But while I may add more soup to the mealtime offerings in the winter months, I love green salads all-year 'round.
I saw this recipe on Gina's Skinnytaste.com and thought the butternut squash and pumpkin seeds would make a yummy salad transition to fall. While the produce aisles don't have quite as many economical choices these days, the wide variety of squash continues to offer options for dinnertime.
The most difficult part, by far, was peeling and dicing the squash. It's an awkward shape for peeling. And chopping hard vegetables like squash and sweet potatoes is always a challenge. But it was worth wrestling with the knife to have this salad in the end.
You could easily make this a main-dish meal by adding a grilled chicken breast or salmon.
Spinach Salad with Honey-Roasted Butternut Squash
To prepare squash:
1 1/4 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and diced to 3/4-inch pieces
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tbsp. minced shallots (I used green onion)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
For the salad:
5 oz. baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1/4 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp. dried cherries
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, salt and freshly ground pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning halfway through, or until tender. When done, remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients, mixing well.
Divide the spinach on 4 plates and top each salad with roasted butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries and feta cheese. Drizzle the dressing over each salad and serve immediately.
Notes: The original recipe called for gorgonzola cheese. It also called for raw pumpkin seeds, but I couldn't find those, so I used roasted and salted ones. It called for white balsamic vinegar; I used apple cider vinegar.
And here's the facts about nutrition:
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th of salad • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts Calories: 241.6 • Fat: 13.7 g • Protein: 7.4 g • Carb: 26.6 g • Fiber: 5.5 g • Sugar: 8.4 g Sodium: 159.8 mg