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Fall Into Salads: Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Walnuts

Today is the first official day of Fall, and it's finally time to put away those light Summer recipes and start using Fall's favorites! Over the weekend, I combined butternut squash and pomegranate to make a scrumptious, hearty salad. With the creamy squash, crisp pomegranate seeds, and tart roasted-walnut vinaigrette, each bite was perfectly balanced. This salad is simple, but requires a little time to prepare the squash. It makes a delicious side or vegetarian meal. Next time I plan on heating the dressing, so when I pour it over the salad the lettuce will wilt. If you want to add this salad to your first Fall feast,

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Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Walnut Salad

Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Walnut Salad

Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Walnut Salad

Ingredients

  1. 4 1/2 to 5 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled, seeded butternut squash (from a 2-pound squash)
  2. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
  5. Coarse kosher salt
  6. 4 tablespoons orange juice
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil or other nut oil
  8. 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  9. 8 cups lightly packed arugula, spinach, or green-leaf lettuce
  10. 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  11. 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (tips on seeding)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss squash, olive oil, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast 15 minutes. Using spatula, turn squash over. Roast until edges are browned and squash is tender, about 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with coarse salt. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  2. Once squash is finished baking, place walnuts on a lined cookie sheet and bake for about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, periodically stir the walnuts, so they do not burn. Remove when fragrant.
  3. Whisk orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add lettuce, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds; toss to coat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Spoon warm or room temperature squash over salad.

Serves 8.


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Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
Point taken--I have totally done that with spaghetti squash that I nuked and was too hungry to wait for to cool. Sigh. Damn you squash!!!!
kimsy kimsy 8 years
Tell me about it, Zulkey. Before trying this, I almost sliced my finger off with a Santuko knife while trying to chop an acorn squash. Much, much easier this way. Just be sure you let it cool a bit so you don't burn your fingers.
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
thanks Kimsy--I'll give that a shot--yes, I always feel really awkward and tired after trying to chop a squash and have the sneaking suspicion that I'm doing it in a a backward time-consuming way.
kimsy kimsy 8 years
Zulkey, I am not sure if you mean peeling and chopping the squash when you say dealing with squash is a deal-breaker, but I find it is much easier to deal with squash if you poke it about 15 times with a fork, then stick it in the microwave for a few minutes. Once it cools a bit, the skin is softer and it seems to separate a bit from the meat, and it is also a lot easier to slice. Just make sure you don't overdo it. I do increments of three to four minutes until it is slightly soft to the touch. I do this all the time when I make risotto and it is a big help.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
Yaaay this sounds so yummy. I want to use pomegranites this fall (I've never had the fresh fruit, just the juice) so I'm really excited to try this recipe. Thanks, Yum!
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
dealing with butternut squash has become a deal-breaker for me with recipes. has anybody tried it frozen though? I wonder if that would work.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
this does sound like a good recipe for me. it's not as hearty as a stew but it's got the fall flavors in it that we can all appreciate. i'm all for salads that have texture and are a bit more robust without feeling too heavy with meat or chicken since i don't eat that. thanks for sharing this - and i might have to try it when the weather turns just a bit cooler.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
This looks amazing!
CoconutPie CoconutPie 8 years
It looks delicious! I love pomegranate seeds in salads. I have to admit though that I have never made anything with squash.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
looks yummy. i can't wait for the squash to be ready to be harvested from the garden. nothing beats a fresh squash :)
MissMarisol MissMarisol 8 years
This looks delish!
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 8 years
This looks yummy, but I'm going to miss those light Summer dishes :) I think I'll make them sometimes anyways ;)
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
That looks delicious!
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