Roasted Squash & Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Candied Pecans & Herbed Goat Cheese

A wonderfully fresh & seasonal salad
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Today’s salad—besides being beautiful to look at—is a fresh and flavorful side that belongs on your table all season long.  Sweet, roasted delicata squash pairs perfectly with wintry, fresh pomegranate seeds and bitter arugula. 

But before I proceed, are you thinking, ‘what is delicata squash?’?!  Well, we recently fell in love with this wonderful vegetable after Kat’s visit to a local farm with Fresh Harvest found at our local Whole Foods.  It’s a winter squash, a lot like butternut or acorn squash but more flavorful and sweeter…almost like a sweet potato. It grows to have a cylinder shape, with green stripes you can easily spot in the grocery store.  Its rind is delicate, and it’s actually where most of the flavor is; roasting delicata squash with the skin-on will intensify its warm, sweet, irresistible flavor.

Now, if you can’t find delicata squash in your local grocery store, sub it out for acorn squash…it’s just as good with the rest of this stellar salad’s lineup.  Think rainbow quinoa, pomegranate seeds, arugula, candied walnuts and herb goat cheese (I make my own with herbs from my garden; it’s super easy to mix the herbs into good quality goat cheese but you can also easily grab an herb goat cheese at the grocery store in the gourmet aisle).  I think you’ll find that this salad is just the thing that belongs on your table all winter long; the mixture of textures and flavors is divine.  I’m huge on hitting sweet-savory-salty-crunchy-soft-tangy all in one bite, and this salad does just that. 

To make, I simply roast the squash in my toaster oven with a drizzle of olive oil. I roast until the squash is golden brown (about 15 minutes) and actually cut it in half afterwards. After that, I add the cooked rainbow quinoa, pomegranate seeds, arugula and herb goat cheese to the mix.  To dress the salad, I usually like to use a spicy honey, some sort of a berry vinaigrette or even a mustard vinaigrette if I’m leaning a little more on the savory-spicy side.  This salad can make even a non-salad eater as happy as can be this holiday season! Truly, MKR 

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Roasted Delicata Squash & Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Arugula, Candied Walnuts & Herb Goat Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 2-3 delicata squash (or acorn squash)
  2. 1 cup rainbow quinoa
  3. 2 cups pomegranate seeds
  4. 3-4 oz. herb goat cheese
  5. 2 10 oz. bags arugula
  6. 12 oz. candied walnuts
  7. olive oil for roasting the squash
  8. Vinaigrette dressing of choice
Instructions
  1. Cook your rainbow quinoa per directions on box.
  2. Roast the squash in a toaster oven with olive oil drizzled on it. After it starts to brown (about 15 minutes) take it out, and cut in half, gutting the inside. You don't want to eat the seeds in the salad.
  3. Slice squash in half circle strips, then add to the bed of arugula, cooked rainbow quinoa, pomegranate seeds, candied walnuts and herb goat cheese.
  4. Dress with desired dressing (I love a good raspberry vinaigrette, spiced honey or even a mustard vinaigrette) and serve!
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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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