Butternut Squash, Pomegranate and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette


Yield: About 7 – 8 servings


5 cups (1 1/2 lbs) cubed butternut squash, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
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Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
10 oz baby spinach
1 1/4 cups pomegranate arils
4 – 6 oz goat cheese or feta, crumbled

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp minced shallot
2 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash in a mound on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to evenly coat in oil. Spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes then remove from oven and toss. Return to oven and bake until tender, about 10 minutes longer. Allow to cool several minutes before adding to salad.
2.In a large salad bowl toss together spinach, squash, 1/2 of the pecans and 1/2 of the pomegranate arils. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and gently toss. Sprinkle with remaining pecans, pomegranate arils and goat cheese and serve immediately.

For the dressing:

1.Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper). Process until well emulsified.