With Thanksgiving around the corner, you may be looking for some lighter dishes to put on the dinner table for your family. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m a big believer in the “cook once, eat twice” philosophy of cooking- I like to cook enough of an ingredient to last for two meals and then transform the leftovers into a completely different dish on another day. It’s a big time-saver and your family won’t be bored eating leftovers. Not only is this salad healthy and easy to make, it’s also a great way to use up leftover butternut squash. To learn all about the nutritional benefits of this power food, CLICK HERE.
Packed with fresh greens tossed in a maple dijon vinaigrette and topped with sweet butternut squash, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and a sprinkling of tangy goat cheese, this salad will make you feel like you’re overindulging even though you’re not. I like to use a mixture of peppery baby arugula and mild baby spinach but feel free to use your favorite salad greens.
- ½ medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 2½ cups)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme)
- 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2.5 oz (1/2 bag) baby arugula
- 2.5 oz (1/2 bag) baby spinach
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Toss the butternut squash with the thyme and 1 teaspoon olive oil on a baking sheet. Season the squash with salt and pepper and spread it out in a single later. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, then flip the squash over and cook another 10 minutes until fork tender. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven.
- While the squash and pecans are cooking, whisk the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and remaining 5 teaspoons olive oil together in a small bowl. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
- Place the arugula and spinach in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing. Arrange the roasted squash, pecans, cranberries and goat cheese on top. Enjoy!