1 pound of butternut squash, 1 really small one, or the bulb end leftover from spiralizing
avocado oil and sea salt
1 pint or 16 ripe figs, 12 ounces, stems removed and cut in half
1 cup pomegranate arils
12 ounces spinach, 12 cups
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper, I used 1/4 Teaspoon
1 cup avocado oil, or olive oil
Preheat the oven to 475ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the ends from the squash and peel it. This is a great recipe to use up the bulb ends that are leftover from a spiralized butternut noodle recipe because they’re often the perfect amount for a salad. Dice the squash up into 1/2″ cubes, and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle with a small amount of avocado oil, (2-3 Teaspoons) and season with a sprinkling of sea salt.
Roast the squash for about 10 minutes or until it’s beginning to soften. Remove the pan from the oven and push the squash to the end of the baking sheet to make room for the figs. Place the figs on the other half of the baking sheet flat side down, leaving a bit of space in between each fig.
Return the pan to the oven and roast until the figs are caramelized and softened, 10-15 minutes.
While everything is roasting prepare the dressing by placing everything but the avocado oil in the blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running on a low speed, slowly drizzle in the avocado oil increasing the speed to 4 or 5 on a Vitamix. When all the oil has been added, blend until the dressing is completely emulsified, and it’s slightly thick and creamy.
Place the roasted butternut, caramelized figs, and pomegranate arils over the spinach in a serving bowl. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss to combine, add dressing as needed until you have the right amount for your taste (there will be dressing leftover). Or you can serve the dressing on the side at the table.