Hi y’all! We are reveling in fall weather this week. I just adore this time of year. I love the holidays and I am one of those annoying people who wants to start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween. I don’t, because that would be weird, but I will admit that I want to. Ah, fall! Fires and sweaters and coziness galore. And butternut squash in all the things! This spinach and butternut squash salad is your perfect lunch date or dinner side. Packed with good leafy greens, tossed with a quick homemade balsamic, and all jazzed up with walnuts, blue cheese crumbles and pomegranate seeds, this is not your grandma’s salad. Something along these salad lines is, most days, my preferred lunch. (Unless of course lunch is pizza, then well, pizza)
The extra awesome bit is that you can roast off enough squash for several salads and then you have it on hand for salads all week. You can also make the dressing in advance. I have learned I eat much better if I can make lunch easy on myself.
Tip: I just learned this butternut squash hack and I so wish I remembered where so I read it so I could credit them. (But I don’t-oops) However, their genius idea is this- microwave your squash BEFORE peeling and slicing. Yes, you read that correctly. Poke that puppy with a fork like you would a baking potato and microwave it on high for three minutes. Let it cool, then trim ends, peel and dice. The article claimed the squash would peel easier (it didn’t) but it also claimed it would be much easier to slice and cut down on cooking time (it did). I have called Alan into the kitchen on multiple occasions to halve my butternut squash with his man muscles. With my new microwave trick- no need. He’s going to think I’ve turned into Wonder Woman. It makes this spinach and butternut squash salad all that much easier. Or butternut squash anything for that matter.
Cut the squash into a 3/4″ dice. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your preference, you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time. Whatever size you choose, just make them uniform so they will cook evenly. You can also reserve the seeds and roast them for salads or snacking like we just did with our roast pumpkin seeds this week. YUM!
They say colorful food is the healthiest food. This bowl of pretty must be awfully good for us.
Enjoy! And if you don’t want to roast the whole squash for your Spinach and Butternut Squash Salad- use the rest to make our Roast Butternut Squash with Gochujang– you’ll thank me. What are your favorite butternut squash recipes? Leave ’em in the comments. I wanna cook them!
Thanks for being here, friends! Happy Cooking xo-Amanda