I’m having a dinner party in a couple of weeks and have been experimenting with some fall sides. My goal when cooking for friends is to have dishes that require very little prep once everyone arrive. After all, I’m having friends over to enjoy their company, not to stress out in the kitchen. I have to admit, this is easier said than done.
While a green salad is easy and safe, I’m a little tired of traditional salads. A salad made with roasted butternut squash and pomegranate seeds is a great alternative for a fall dinner and of course I’m trying to serve some dishes that are amazing. The best part is you serve it at room temperature so it can be made in advance.
If I can find already diced butternut squash, I’ll use it in a heartbeat. Sometimes the grocery won’t have it already chopped and I have to allow for a few extra minutes to peel and chop. I can’t tell the difference in the end product, so go with the pre-cut if you can find it. Once chopped, you just roast the squash for about 30 minutes until the edges are browned, let it cool and then toss it in a light dressing. Sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds and top with pomegranate seeds. I’m serving this with pork tenderloin and I think everyone will enjoy it. All I’ll have to do once my friends arrive is sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top and I can easily delegate that to one of my guests.
Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen 2016Print
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: salad
- 3 lbs Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, about 8–10 cups
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon za’atar spice blend
- 1 small shallot , minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¾ cup fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- Place oven rack in the lowest position and preheat to 450º. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until browned and tender, 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove and immediately sprinkle with za’atar. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk the shallot, lemon juice, honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. While whisking drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil Add squash, parsley and pumpkin seeds and toss to combine. Arrange on platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds before serving.
- The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2016