A Holiday Favorite: Winter Butternut Squash Salad

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We loved this flavorful winter butternut squash salad recipe from Nina at Home with Her, and we simply had to share it with you! From Nina: 

Since Thanksgiving is typically filled with heavier foods, I plan on bringing a lighter and healthier option for us to feast on. Something that offers us a bit of nutrition. This butternut squash salad is perfect for just that; seasonal, healthy and, most importantly, full of some much needed fiber. Not to mention simple to prepare, because we know that more than likely your hands will be full Thanksgiving Day.

The salty pistachios, creamy goat cheese and sweet butternut squash all work so well together. The orange-maple-ginger marinade adds a surprising punch of flavor which takes this salad from ordinary to amazing. Though we show the butternut squash tossed with some mixed greens, this salad would be just as tasty served over some quinoa. Hope you enjoy, friends!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, halved crosswise and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
6 cups mixed salad greens (We used heirloom spinach from the farmers market, but anything goes here! Kale would be tasty, too)
1/2 cup roasted pistachio nuts
Goat cheese

DIRECTIONS FOR ROASTED SQUASH SALAD

  1. For marinade, in a small bowl stir together orange juice, maple syrup, mustard and ginger. Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinade. Place butternut squash pieces in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour remaining marinade over squash. Place the bag in the fridge and marinate for 1-4 hours.  Every so often, shake and turn.
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  2. Once ready to roast, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Drain marinade from squash, discarding marinade. Place squash on prepared baking sheet (I always use a parchment paper so it doesn’t stick).
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  4. Roast the squash until tender and lightly browned in spots, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven; set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, toast the pistachios and set aside.
  6. For the dressing, whisk together the reserved marinade, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil.  Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of dressing over warm squash; toss to combine.
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  7. In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens and half of the pistachios.
  8. Drizzle the greens with half of the dressing, then gently add the roasted squash. We prefer our salads to be lightly coated, so the greens don’t get weighed down and soggy. Have a small little carafe of the remaining dressing so people can add more to their liking.
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  9. Top with remaining pistachios and goat cheese.  Enjoy!
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