Turn up the beets! Roasted Beet and Butternut Squash Salad

This seasonal salad makes a delicious and festive side for your Thanksgiving meal—or any meal for that matter. The roasted butternut squash and beets (especially while warm) pair so well with goat cheese and peppery arugula. Keep it simple or jazz it up with some pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, this salad is so good (and good for you).

 

Ingredients:

  • Arugula
  • 1/2 container of precut butternut squash (depending on size you may use a full container or you can peel, chop and roast 1 small butternut squash)
  • 5 small beets (I used a mix of dark and golden)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

 

Dressing:

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 420 F. While oven is preheating, scrub beets, remove beet leaves (you can sauté these at a later time if in good condition), place beets in a foil tent on a small baking pan. (I add a small dash of evoo before closing the foil tent).
  2. Roast beets for 20 minutes while you prepare the butternut squash.
  3. Place cut butternut squash on baking pan lined with parchment paper. Lightly coat with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Once the beets have roasted for 20 minutes, add the butternut squash to the oven and roast both for ~30 minutes (until butternut squash is done). The timing of the beets will depend on their size, and may require additional cooking time. They should be easily pierced with a fork when done.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Taste and adjust as necessary. You could experiment with lemon juice or 1 clove of garlic if you choose.
  6. Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry pan over medium-low heat. Watch closely and stir frequently as they can easily burn. Once they turn a golden brown, they are done. Remove from heat.
  7. When the beets are done, open the foil tent and let sit until cool enough to handle. Using gloves or paper towels (to prevent your hands from staining), remove the outside skin. Slice or quarter the roasted beets.
  8. Place the arugula in your serving dish. Add the roasted beets, roasted butternut squash, and top with pieces of goat cheese, toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Lightly drizzle with dressing and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Save the remainder of the salad dressing in a jar or airtight container in the fridge. If eating leftovers, I suggest warming up the beets and squash before serving.

Recipe credit:  Ashley Hart