Where do I even start in telling you about this salad? The obvious is that I absolutely love it, but that really doesn’t seem like a very great description. But something I feel is actually significant, is we’ve been eating this salad 3-4 times a week for a few weeks now. We rarely eat the same thing over and over again because I’m always recipe testing. So whenever something is on repeat like that, I know it’s going to be a classic in our house!
I was originally tempted to top this fall inspired salad with the herbs de Provence balsamic vinaigrette from a previous spinach salad. But instead of relying on an old standby, I decided to spice things up a bit. And to be completely honest, I’m still tied between the 2 dressings for which one is my favorite pairing!
With the summertime travel over, I’ve been fully back to meal prepping, and this salad has been a favorite. In fact, I’ve had it the last 3 days in a row with a little grilled chicken for lunch. This week I’ve been topping it with the balsamic vinaigrette I mentioned above, but next week it’ll be back to this creamy curry dressing.
One thing I like to do with meal prepping is to make 2 different kinds of dressing for the same salad. That way you can alternate your flavors back and forth to avoid boredom. Although that’s not likely to occur with so much going on in this salad.
Tip 1: To speed things up, you can always buy your butternut squash already diced up.
Tip 2: Make twice the amount of roasted butternut and onions. Then you can use the extra roasted veggies for a soup, in an omelet, or in my Easiest Roasted Veggie Thai Curry. Having already roasted veggies on hand makes it really easy to add more veggies into all sorts of things, including your favorite spaghetti sauce.
You can go with plain toasted pumpkin seeds, but if you have a few minutes to make the candied ones in the recipe, you won’t regret it!
For pomegranate arils, check out my Pomegranates 101 to see how to deseed a pomegranate in just 1 minute – and this is no joke, it actually works!
For the creamy curry dressing, the creamy part is from an egg added to the dressing. This is a little technique I learned from the concept of a Caesar Salad, and it makes the best dressings. However consuming raw eggs is obviously an ‘at your own risk’ thing.
We like to use farm fresh eggs, but you can leave them out for a vinaigrette type of dressing. Or you can sub in a bit of good quality mayonnaise to make the creaminess.
As I mentioned I’ve been eating this salad for lunches lately, and it’s been a great make ahead salad. I prefer to make it with spinach which holds up better over the course of the workweek.
You can either assemble it into Mason Salad Jars. Or you can layer into the salad into to-go containers of your choice just like the above picture. Then reserve the dressing on the side until you’re ready to eat it.
- 2 cups ½" diced red onion, 9 ounces
- 4 cups ½" diced butternut squash, about 1½ pounds
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 8 cups mixed baby greens, or baby spinach
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, finely diced, 8 ounces
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ½ Teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Teaspoon curry powder, see notes
- 2 Teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- ½ Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder, see notes
- ½ Teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 farm fresh egg, or substitute 1-2 Tablespoons good quality mayonnaise
- ½ cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly spread the onion and butternut over the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Stir the veggies to coat, and place them into the oven to roast until golden brown and soft, about 30 minutes. Stir the veggies 2-3 times throughout the baking time to keep the edges from over browning.
- While the veggies roast, assemble the rest of the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl.
- For the candied pumpkin seeds, lightly toast them in a cast iron pan over medium heat until they smell fragrant and start to brown, about 5 minutes. Shake the pan as they toast to keep the seeds turning and evenly toasting. Then add the sea salt, curry powder, and maple syrup to the pan. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, stirring the pumpkin seeds to evenly coat them. Then remove the pumpkin seeds from the pan to cool on a small sheet of parchment paper. If you leave them in the pan, they will stick.
- For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a blender, except the olive oil. Secure the lid, and blend starting on low to combine. Then with the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil increasing the speed to medium as you add the oil. When all the oil has been added, keep the blender running for a few more seconds to make sure the dressing is completely emulsified.
- When the veggies are done roasting, you can serve them hot tossed into the salad which is nice on colder days, but the leftovers don't keep well. Or you can wait 20-30 minutes for them to cool before adding them to the salad.
- Serve the salad with the dressing.
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