Summer is not the only time to enjoy salads. Take for instance this winter salad with roasted squash and potatoes, garnished with feta cheese and pomegranate seeds. I think it looks very “holiday-ish” – the feta cheese resembling fallen snow, the pomegranate seeds bright red jewels, the roasted squash and potatoes golden gifts, and the arugula green tree branches.
You might recognize this salad. It’s all over Pinterest, although that’s not where I originally saw it. I first discovered it on Eat Boutique, a fantastic blog and an inspiration of diverse food ideas. Eat Boutique showed some of their favorite cold weather salads and this was one of them. The salad came from The Year in Food where they adapted it from Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food. Pop over and see their incredible photos of the salad here and you’ll know why everyone loved it on Pinterest. They used delicata squash, which I could not find, so I substituted acorn squash.
It is a superb salad in every respect. First, it’s pretty. But more importantly, it is full of flavor. I had never eaten pomegranate seeds. Frankly they looked like too much work to me, opening the pomegranate, getting the juices all over me and making a mess in the process. But I happened upon a jar of pomegranate seeds at Walmart of all places and was very pleased. The pomegranate seeds make this salad. They have a fruity crunch that I had not imagined. I thought the saltiness in the feta and the rich peppery taste of in the arugula were a nice contrast to the slight sweetness of the squash and crispy roasted potatoes always make anything better. This is one of the best winter salads I’ve ever eaten. Highly, highly recommended.
So on the day when you’ve had your fill of Christmas cookies or office parties, treat yourself to a nice healthy winter salad. This would also make a great meatless Monday dish.
Winter Salad with Roasted Squash, Potatoes, & Pomegranate Seeds
Adapted slightly From The Year in Food – serves 4 to 6
1.5 pounds small to medium potatoes (the recipe calls for fingerlings)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium acorn squash, or delicata squash if you can find it
8 ounces baby arugula, also known as rocket or roquette
Seeds from one pomegranate, about 1 cup
1 cup crumbled feta or top quality Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice potatoes lengthwise in halves or quarters depending on size. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Toss to coat. Roast until tender and browned, about 20-25 minutes, turning once.
While the potatoes roast, prepare the squash. Peel the squash, then slice in half lengthwise, and remove seeds and membrane. Slice into thin half moons, 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Arrange on another rimmed baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets for the squash), drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat.
Remove potatoes from the oven and set aside. Add the squash to the oven, sprinkle with some salt, and roast until tender and just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Prepare the vinaigrette. In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, add all of the ingredients and shake to combine.
In a large salad bowl, combine the squash and the potatoes. Drizzle with about half the vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Add the arugula, half the pomegranate seeds and half of the cheese. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper and gently toss. Add more vinaigrette if needed. (I did not use all of it.) Top with the remaining cheese and pomegranate seeds. Serve.
This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.
Have a great weekend everyone.