I love enjoying fresh produce this time of year in fall & winter salads! These “cold weather” salads are usually more hearty and can even be warming, like with this roasted delicata squash salad. You want heat? Add in a little cayenne to the dressing & candied pecans, and serve this salad with the warm roasted delicata squash right out of the oven. Or if you’d rather have the convince that goes along with an easy to prep side dish, prep it all ahead the day before and store it in some nice food saver containers like the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers I have pictured and then simply assemble your salad at the office, at home, or take it with to to share at a holiday party.
This roasted declicata squash salad is simple to prepare, and just takes a few components to make the flavors dance together. First I slice the squash and get it roasting in the oven.
Next I peel the pomegrante. For me, the easiest technique is to slice the pomegranate in half and then put each half into the water where I gently open them to remove the flavorful arils (aka juicy pomegranate seeds). This makes is so easy to avoid a big red juicy mess on the cutting board. The juicy arils will sink to the bottom while all the pith and white bits float to the top. After the arils are separated, drain off the water, and set the arils aside, (but leave enough out for snacking.)
Next I candy the pecans on the stove top (super easy!), dice the red onion, and make the dressing. Using a small canning jar I add in the dressing ingredients and simply whisk with a fork. If you are going to be serving the salad right away, I mix the dressing into the arugula and then top with all other ingredients. But if this dish will be served on the table at a large holiday party where it will be sitting out for a length of time, I recommend doubling the salad dressing recipe and serving the dressing on the side to prevent the arugula from wilting too much.
Below are my prepped salad ingredients ready to go! Along with a container of peeled and chopped butternut squash for a soup I’ll be making tomorrow. These Rubbermaid Brilliance food saver containers have really come in handy. They are every bit as leak proof as described and brilliantly crystal clear. They also stack nicely on top of each other in the fridge.
I had my hubby pick up the ingredients for this salad and these Rubbermaid Brilliance containers on his way home from work yesterday. Seriously, I have the world’s sweetest hubby! He found them located in the Storage area of our local Fred Meyer store in their own stand up display. There is a limited time offer from Ibotta to save $2 off an individual Brilliance container and $4 off of a Brilliance set using this link: http://cbi.as/60ehw
Roasted Delicata Salad with Maple Balsamic
- Salad Base
- 5 oz to 6 arugula lettuce 1 container
- 3/4 cup pomegranate arils or dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- ounces optional: 3 feta or chevre crumbled
Roasted Delicata Squash
- 1 to 2 delicata squash
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoons to 2 dried sage
- 2 pinches sea salt
- Candied Pecans
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 Tablespoon oil or butter
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- pinch of sea salt
- optional: pinch of cayenne
Maple Balsamic Dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- pinch of sea salt
- teaspoon optional: 1/4 cinnamon
- optional: pinch of cayenne
Roasted Delicata Squash: Preheat oven to 425*F.
Wash delicata squash well, as after roasting the skin is totally edible.
Slice delicata in half long ways, scrape out seeds with a spoon. Then slice each half into thin half rings.
Toss in oil, sage, sea salt. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30 minutes at 425*F, flipping them over 1/2 way through baking.
Pomegrante Arils: Prepare pomegrante seeds. I use the water method for no mess clean-up as described above, with a photo.
Candied Pecans: Lightly toast pecans with a little oil (or butter) in a saute pan over medium heat, stirring often. They will toast up within a few minutes, so keep a close eye on them to prevent burning. At the last minute, drizzle in maple syrup and sprinkle on sea salt and cayenne. Stir well while the maple syrup sizzles, turn off heat. Then spoon nuts to rest on a plate lined with parchment paper where the coating will firm up and cool.
Maple Balsamic Salad Dressing: Mix dressing ingredients together in a small jar, whisk with a fork. If serving right away toss greens in dressing, or serve dressing on the side. If serving on the side you may want to make a double batch of the dressing.
Arrange salad on a platter and serve. Happy Holidays!!
What recipes are you looking forward to serving this holiday season?
What is a “must have” side dish on your Thanksgiving table?
For our family it’s green bean casserole, nowadays made from scratch. Followed closely by apple pie. This harvest salad will also be making an appearance.