Meatless Monday–Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and, while some of you may have a set menu that your family prefers not to change, many of you may be looking for new side dishes to bring to your family’s table, a friendsgiving, or even a work potluck.  Perhaps it will just be you and your special someone this year and you aren’t looking to make the full-on spread for 20.  Maybe you just want some new ideas for fall flavors.  Whatever your need, I promise this salad fills it.

With vibrant orange butternut squash and sparkling fuchsia pomegranate seeds, it is certainly pretty enough to be on any holiday table.  It’s a simple recipe to make, which is always appreciated when putting together a meal of any size.  In addition, it’s quite healthy–perfect for an anytime fall dinner, a workday lunch, or, you know, for feeling less guilty about that extra half slice of pie late on Thanksgiving night.

sweet potato pomegranate salad

Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 large or 2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 tsp. each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. pomegranate arils
1/2 c. toasted pecans, chopped
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 TBSP chopped parsley, for garnish

For the vinaigrette:
2 TBSP pomegranate juice
2 TBSP champagne vinegar
1 TBSP honey
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 400° F.  

2.  In a large bowl, toss squash, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread squash out onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake 30-35 minutes, turning once.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

3.  Meanwhile, make vinaigrette by whisking together pomegranate juice, vinegar, honey, oil.  Taste and adjust seasonings to suit your preference.

4.  Place squash in a serving bowl, then drizzle with dressing.  Top with pomegranate arils, pecans, and goat cheese.  Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings, as a side

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