Saturday, November 12, 2011

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Fresh, peppery arugula meets slightly sweet roasted butternut squash in this delicious salad that could also serve as a meal in itself. Just the smell of sweet squash roasting in your oven will have your whole house smelling like Thanksgiving and your entire mouth salivating!

Making an ever-so-important appearance are delicate toasted walnuts, silky buttery avocado, sweet red onions and juicy ruby-red pomegranate seeds. Whatever you do, please do not skip the toasting of the walnuts. Just a few minutes over the stove will change your dry, raw walnuts into irresistible bites of heaven! Seriously.

Roasting a butternut squash is very similar to roasting the spaghetti squash I posted HERE a few weeks ago. You can also skip the labor of cutting your squash in half and scooping out the seeds if you buy one already cut and prepared like I did today :)

Serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main course

2 large handfuls of wild organic arugula
1/2 butternut squash, seeded
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup raw unsalted walnuts
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1 TB dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 TB orange juice
1 TB agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup)
pinch of salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Place prepared squash cut side down on a non-stick baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes or until squash is slightly browned around the skin and easily pierces through with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool before handling. Turn squash over and cut into one inch cubes (skin should easily fall off).

To toast the walnuts, place in a pan and warm on the stove over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat. Add arugula, squash, red onion, avocado, toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds in a large salad bowl.

Combine all ingredients for dressing into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over salad right before serving.

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