Monday, November 2, 2015

Autumn Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette

Cook's notes: Lightly caramelized slices of roasted squash make a tasty and attractive autumn salad dressed up with toasted pecans, crumbled goat cheese and pomegranate arils. Dried cranberries can be substituted for arils. Nuts in a salad are always an optional item.
Recipe serves 4 and adapted from howsweeteats.com
Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 acorn squash, sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds and seeds removed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper 
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 TB. melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Saigon cinnamon or 1 tsp. regular cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 onion diced 
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp.pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 1 seedless cucumber, sliced and patted dry on a paper towel
  • optional 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 /3 cup pomegranate, arils ( pom poms) or dried cranberries
  • crumbled goat cheese
Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 TB. balsamic vinegar or Cranberry Pear Balsamic
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 TB. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or Lemon Olive Oil
Salad Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a  rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut acorn squash in half. Seed center and cut squash lengthwise into half moon shapes. In a bowl add squash pieces, brown sugar, butter, salt and pepper, cinnamon, allspice and diced onions.   
  • Spread out in an even layer on baking sheet. Roast 30-40 minutes until fork tender. Stir once during baking time.
  • Remove squash and set aside. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. 
  • On same baking sheet add pecans and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice mix. Toast until they are slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking the pan as they toast, for about 5 minutes. 
  • In a salad bowl mix arugula, diced cucumbers and squash pieces. Toss add in pomegranate arils, toasted pecans and cheese. 
  • Drizzle with pomegranate dressing.
Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette Directions;
  • Combine pomegranate  juice, balsamic, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl in blender. Stream in the olive oil into blender on low speed to mix well. A lidded jar can work also.
  • Refrigerate several hours before serving.  

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