I know, it’s a winter salad from Chef Billy Parisi that has close to 9,000 ingredients in it. I realize quite a few of my recipes have a decent number of ingredients in it but man once I’m creating something I being to think, “Well this other thing would go great in here, and then this, and then this, and then this,” until I get completely carried away like in this Winter Salad Recipe with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds. All I can say is, at least it’s good haha. That’s my fall back. However, with a lot of my recipes the ingredient list may be on the longer side but the procedures are incredibly easy, just like in this Winter Salad Recipe with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds. I mean you are simply combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and then drizzling on some vinaigrette. Easy right? The only thing you really have to do in this is roast up some butternut squash and shave some carrots, which to me is pretty dang simple…
To ensure you get this salad out on time the first thing you must do is peel, cut up and roast the butternut squash. Now because I am known to get lazy at times when prepping I prefer not to even cut the bottom portion of the butternut squash where you have to scoop out the seeds. I really only ever use the top portion because it’s easy to peel and a whole lot easier to cut, plus there is no scooping out of the seeds. So now that you know how lazy I am let’s talk the removal of some of these ingredients so your head won’t explode at the grocery store while looking for everything.
First, you can completely remove of the following from this Winter Salad Recipe with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds: the carrots, the granny smith apple, the feta cheese, the kale, and the homemade balsamic vinaigrette – just buy a pre-made balsamic vinaigrette from the store. That should significantly help out the ingredient list and complexity of flavors. I think the reason I like to pound in so many ingredients in to salads is because I don’t often eat them and I want to get as many nutrients from it as possible. I want these bad boys to be packed with healthy deliciousness because chances are I’m going out for a burger afterwards or simply eating cookies all day. I know it’s a cop out but it’s one of the main reasons I like to pile on so many things into a salad. This Winter Salad Recipe with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds was really made more for holidays and entertaining over those cold months that can really impress your guests. Most folks just make simple romaine or ice burg based salads with out of season produce like tomatoes and such. With that mentality you can understand why this winter salad recipe is a little more glorious…
I’m definitely a creature of habit when it comes to making homemade vinaigrettes and almost always resort to my honey balsamic vinaigrette. It’s so easy to make and honestly goes dang good with just about any salad someone would whip up. It’s got the perfect balance of sweet and tangy to finish off any greens with. With that being said you can definitely try another vinaigrette if you’d like. I think anything with a red wine or white wine vinegar base would work well or you can get all fancy faced and try a champagne vinegar or even a berry vinegar, point being you can change it up.
Lastly for the cheeses I thought it would be a cool to do a combo of feta cheese and goat cheese. You can definitely use 1 or the other but if you only want to choose 1 then I’d go with the goat cheese, it will compliment more of what’s in this salad and help cut some of the bitterness from the kale greens. To finish off this salad I used some of those thinly shaven almonds which I toasted up in the oven on 350 for like 10 minutes, and then with some dried cherries and pomegranate seeds. Try not to eat all those cherries because dang are they addicting. Well that’s all I got on this one, so if you want to impress your guests this winter season with a killer salad then be sure to make this Winter Salad Recipe with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds.
Winter Salad Recipe with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds
For the Salad:
- 1 small peeled and medium diced butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 thinly shaved tri-colored carrots
- 1 peeled cored and small diced fuji apple
- 1 peeled cored and small diced granny smith apple
- 1 cup of dried cherries
- 1 cup of toasted thinly sliced almonds
- ½ cup of pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup of crumbled goat cheese
- 4 cups of packed baby spinach leaves
- 1 head of trimmed red or green kale leaves
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- ½ peeled small diced small shallot
- 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons of honey
- ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 1 tablespoons of chiffonade fresh basil
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Coat the butternut squash in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper and spread out on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tender. Do not over cook.
Cool the butter nut squash immediately in the oven.
Salad: Toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and keep cool.
Dressing: whisk together all of the ingredients until the vinaigrette is emulsified and dress the salad and toss together.