Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut Squash Salad

One of you requested me to make salads that are not the typical leafy ones. Challenge accepted! Ok, let me tell you about my love affair with salads. Nope, there is no love between us! I eat them because they are healthy and I should probably be on a diet. I did learn over the years to make them decent enough that I could eat it maybe once a week.

So, when I thought about an unconventional salad, I drifted to vegetables that are in season. I warmed up to the butternut squash, always used in soups, but why not a salad. I lay in bed trying not to wake my sleeping baby and this flavor profile came to my head. Something that is sweet, tangy and creamy. I wanted a salad that was the shining star not just a boring side. You will need an oven for this salad, but trust me this will taste really good!

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes

Cook Time – 35 Minutes

Serves – 4 to 6 

Ingredients

1 Butternut Squash – Peeled and cubed

3/4 Red onion  – 1/2 cubed, 1/4 Sliced

1 can of Black beans, rinsed and drained

Feta Cheese – 175 Grams (1 small container, I used the smallest President’s Choice Feta container)

Craisins – 1 Cup

Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon

Paprika – 1/4 Teaspoon

Olive oil – 2 Tablespoons

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and in a large bowl combine your squash and cubed red onions. Toss this with olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and paprika. Spread this on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or till the squash is fork tender.

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Now combine the black beans, the roasted vegetables, raw onions, craisins and feta cheese. Add remainder of the salt and combine well.

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The salad is ready!! If you don’t like raw onions like my husband, just roast all the onions with the squash.  That will tone down the strong taste of the red onions though honestly I loved them in this salad. Now, let’s get to making of the Lemon Cilantro dressing!

Cilantro Lemon Dressing

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes

Yields – 1/4 cup of Dressing

Ingredients

Olive oil – 1/4 Cup

Juice of 1 Lemon

Cilantro – Chopped, 1/4 cup

Garlic – 1, finely chopped

Honey – 1 teaspoon

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon

Ground Coriander – 1/8 teaspoon

Blend all the ingredients and drizzle over your salad. Toss well.

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I found that the dressing yielded a bit more than 1/4 cup and was enough to coat the salad well. However, if you are a dressing fiend, double the recipe. I absolutely loved this dressing!! The balance of the tanginess from the lemon and the honey with the cilantro….amazing! I will confess I ate two huge bowls of this salad and I didn’t even care to have anything else with it.

You can pair this with meat or fish but I think it shines on its own. It reminds me of middle eastern flavors with the creamy feta and the roasted vegetables. I really hope you enjoy this as much as I did.




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