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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Ricotta Salata

Winter squash, ricotta salata, and pomegranate seeds combine to make a warm roasted butternut squash salad which is perfect for fall. Great for the Thanksgiving and holiday table! Healthy. Gluten-Free.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Just a Little Bit of Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 2 cups diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 oz ricotta salata, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425F. Put the roasting pan in the oven to get it good and hot.
  • Peel the butternut squash and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the salt, and the sage. Add the diced squash to the hot roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes. Then turn the squash and roast for an additional 10 minutes. Transfer the roasted squash to a serving bowl.
  • Lower the heat to 350F. Spread out the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast them for 2-3 minutes.
  • Mix together the remaining olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Pour the dressing over the warm squash and toss gently. Add the pine nuts, ricotta salata, and pomegranate arils and give the salad another stir. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Heating the roasting pan: To get a good sear and caramelization on the squash, you want to put the roasting pan in the oven while it preheats. If you use a cold roasting pan you won't get the browning.
  • Pine nuts: Be careful when toasting the pine nuts. They brown fast and go to burnt quick. I like pine nuts here, but you can sub in walnuts or pecans.
  • Pomegranate arils: These are often found already prepped near the diced fruit in the produce section of the supermarket. If you can't find either the arils or a fresh pomegranate, my standby is to use dried cranberries to provide the color and sweetness.
  • Peeler: I recently bought an OXO Y peeler and it makes a big difference in peeling the squash easily and quickly.