Spinach Salad with Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Dressing
I've gotta admit, I love a good hearty salad. It sounds lame, but it just hits the spot sometimes! I mean, not quite like a good Reese's or a chocolate soufflé, but still so satisfying.
Here's an opportunity to incorporate hearty and delicious flavors in a scrumptious salad that you can enjoy on Thanksgiving, and all fall and winter long.
Yields 8-9 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Recommended equipment: rimmed baking sheet, medium bowl, large salad bowl
1 large package of pre-cut butternut squash, about 16 ounces
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup of salted and roasted pumpkin seeds or candied pecans
5 cups of baby spinach or kale
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of pomegranate arils
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup of olive oil
2 teaspoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of shallot, finely diced
1 whole head of garlic
Heat oven to 425℉
On a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss together the squash, 2 tsp of olive oil, fresh thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place the whole head of garlic on a sheet of foil, drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil, wrap securely in foil, and place on the baking sheet with the squash. Roast, stirring the squash every 15 minutes until it is a deep golden brown and the garlic is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the garlic and squash from the oven and let them cool.
Once cool, cut off the top of the garlic head and squeeze all of the softened garlic into a medium bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, shallots, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, then whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream to help it all come together.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach with about half of the dressing, if you're using kale use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. Save the rest of your dressing for another recipe!
Add the squash, parmesan, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries to your salad base and mix to combine.
Note: Roasted garlic has a sweetness to it but it's a lot less flavorful, that's why the whole head of garlic is necessary to use in the dressing once it's roasted.