It’s finally starting to feel like fall in New England. In the spirit of embracing the autumn harvest, I made this delicious salad. I never would have thought to put squash on a salad. In fact, I am not even much of a squash fan. But one day, I ordered a roasted acorn squash salad at a restaurant, and it was SO good. I just had to try it myself, with a few twists. Now it’s my new favorite salad!
Start by roasting a squash or two. I prefer acorn squash, but you can use any kind. You can peel it or leave the peel on. I like the taste and texture of the peel so I leave it on. If you do want to peel an acorn squash, use a peeler to peel the outside ridges and don’t worry about the peel that is left in the grooves. It will look like a zebra when you are done, but it actually looks pretty on the salad. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds in the middle, and cut into quarters or 1 inch slices, depending on your preference. If you are using an oblong squash like butternut or delicata, bake it as 2 halves and cut into pieces after baking. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-45 minutes (depending on the size of the squash), until is it starting to brown and pierces easily with a fork.
While the squash is baking, make a balsamic reduction. Pour a 500ml jar of high quality balsamic vinegar into a heavy bottomed pan. Add 1 tablespoon of honey (I used sage honey) and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then simmer slowly for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until it has reduced to 1/3 of the original amount and has a syrupy texture. This will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator, so you will be glad you have made more than you need!
Toast 2 TBS of pine nuts in a pan over low heat.
Fill your plate with fresh arugula. Top with the squash, pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction, adding extra around the sides of the plate for dipping, and it’s ready to eat! (Note: In this picture, I used delicata squash. I didn’t get a picture of the salad I made with the acorn squash, but it’s even better!)
Check out the nutrition that is packed into this salad by reading the links below! (click on any of the text below to go to the link for more information)