A vibrant salad featuring delicata squash, pomegranate, arugula, pepitas and feta tossed in a maple balsamic vinaigrette. If you are preparing this salad in advance, reserve the dressing on the side until you are ready to serve.
2 medium delicata squash, around 1 and ¼ pounds total
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fine grain sea salt
4 heaping cups arugula (or mixed baby greens)
⅔ cup pomegranate arils (or a generous handful of dried cherries or cranberries)
⅓ cup raw pepitas (or pecans)
3 to 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon real maple syrup
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the squash and scrape off any tough bits of skin with a knife. Slice the squash into ½-inch wide rounds. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from each round. Drizzle the squash with a generous tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Use your fingers to lightly coat all surfaces of the squash with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender and golden, flipping halfway.
In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas (or pecans), stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and lightly golden on the edges. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Once the squash has had a few minutes to cool, combine the arugula, pomegranate (or dried fruit), pepitas (or pecans), crumbled feta and squash in a serving bowl. Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Serve immediately.
Yields 4 substantial side salads or up to 8 small servings.
MAKE IT VEGAN: To skip the feta or serve it on the side.
MAKE IT NUT FREE: Skip the pecans and use the pepitas instead.