Warm Winter Squash and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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If I haven’t said it enough, I LOVE fall/winter produce. I think it’s because the complimentary flavors and spices remind me of family, warmth, and the holidays… basically nostalgia in a bowl. So when we had a dinner party with friends this past weekend, I wanted to make a dish with all of my favorites. This warm salad makes a great side dish for dinner, lunch on a cool day, or even breakfast when topped with a fried egg!

Warm Winter Squash and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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Use a vegetable peeler to help peel off that tough butternut squash skin!

Yields 6 portions

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts
  • 3 medium delicata squashes
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tart apples
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked off
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup plus ¾ cup neutral oil (avocado, canola, or vegetable)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • salt and pepper

In a blender combine 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, cayenne, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, oil, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Blend vinaigrette until emulsified* and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if you would like. Add in the remaining whole pomegranate seeds and reserve vinaigrette until later.

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*Emulsified means breaking up the oil molecules so that they are suspended within the vinegar, creating a cohesive dressing.

For this roasted salad you’ll either need 4 baking sheets or you can roast in batches then reheat all of the vegetables in the oven just before serving. I know that’s a lot of roasting but bear with me, this dish is amazingggg.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut the Brussels sprouts in quarters and season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and 1 tsp oil. Arrange Brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown. To prep the delicata, cut the ends off and then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and cut delicata into 1 inch cubes. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper, ¼ tsp. ground ginger, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon,  and 1 tsp. oil. Arrange delicata in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until edges start to brown.

For the butternut squash, peel skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut top and bottom stems off, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Cut butternut squash in 1 inch chunks and season with a pinch of salt, pepper, ¼ tsp. ground ginger, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp. oil. Arrange butternut squash in a single layer on a baking sheet roast for 15-20 minutes, or until edges start to brown.

The onion and apples can be prepared together: cut the top and bottom stems off the onion, cut in half, peel off the skin, and cut into 1 inch pieces. Core the apple and cut into 1 inch pieces. Place both on the same baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

So — that wasn’t so bad, right? Now all that’s left to do is mix the warm vegetables with toasted pecans, ½ cup of the vinaigrette, and serve! Autumn, holidays, cozy nights by the fire, snowy mornings, and warm fuzzy feelings all wrapped up in a pretty (and delicious) dish.

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