If you’re part of my newsletter (subscribe here) it’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Jillian Tedesco and her company Fit-Flavors. She is a talented fitness trainer turned home chef and owns a meal delivery service that specializes in healthy, nutritionally balanced meals so that you can get the macros you need on a tight time schedule.
I invited Jill to share a recipe here on the blog because she is a wizard at making healthy taste amazing! This salad is going to be your go-to potluck contribution and a favorite to serve at home too.
Take it away Jill!
When entertaining friends or going to a party for the holidays, it’s important to have a recipe that feels festive and seasonal. This recipe will work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. I also love making and bringing something on the light and healthy side because there is always an abundance of heavy foods around the holidays. This way I can count on the dish I make for a healthy option, but I know if I want to indulge there is likely to be plenty of options. Don’t get me wrong though this salad may just land you the best-dish award for it’s flavor and texture combo!
From a chef point of view, when creating a dish, the more depth you add the better the experience will be. This dish offers just that. Butternut squash makes us think fall and winter, and tossing it with cinnamon brings a very warm feel. Pomegranates are in season and these sweet antioxidant-packed fruits are also festive so you are sure to impress if you put these sexy little babies on your salad. Salted pumpkin seeds bring more seasonality to the dish and spiced nuts round out the flavor profile with a spicy crunch. Finish with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette to add a touch of sour and you have a winner!
Roasted Winter Squash & Pomegranate Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep time: 40 minutes
· 1lb mixed spring greens
· 1 pomegranate cleaned and seeded or 1 cup pre-cleaned seeds
· 1 cup butternut squash diced & roasted with cinnamon, salt and pepper (roast at 350F for 25 min)
· 1/4 cup salted pumpkin seeds
· 1/2 cup candied pecans chopped (recipe below)
Yields 12+ servings
· 2 cups pecan halves
· 1 Tbsp maple syrup
· 1/2 tsp cinnamon
· 1/4 tsp cayenne
· 1/4 tsp salt
Yields 12 servings
· 1/2 cup & 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
· 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
· 1 Tbsp honey mustard
· 1 Tbsp honey
· 1/2 lemon, juiced or 2 Tbsp lemon juice
· 1/4 tsp Salt
· 8 turns of a black pepper grind
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare Toss and roast for 10 min at 350F shaking/flipping half way through. Prepare the butternut squash by slicing through the middle and cutting the ends away then peeling the skin off with a vegetable peeler. Dice into small cubes, toss with cinnamon, salt and pepper.
2. Roast butternut squash for 25 minutes. Meanwhile de-seed your pomegranate and set aside 1 cup. Additionally, prepare your pecans by tossing them in the maple syrup, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. You can put the pecans in the oven at the 15 minute mark of your butternut-squash and finish them together with an additional ten minutes.
3. In the mean time whisk together dressing ingredients.
4. Once the butternut squash has finished and cooled toss the mixed greens with dressing and top with squash, pomegranate aerials, pumpkin seeds and pecans.
Nutrition and Macros
1. Whether you go through the work to clean the pomegranates yourself or buy them pre-cleaned is up to you. Account for about 4 minutes to clean a pomegranate. It’s helpful to quarter the fruit, then fill a bowl with cool water and separate the seeds from the white flesh. The white flesh will float, the seeds with sink! Then you can clear away the white from the top of the water and strain out the seeds!
2. Personally, if I’m going to go through the mess of cleaning one, I might as well clean a couple more. I love to save the rest of the seeds for up to 5 days in my fridge to eat as a snack on their own or on a parfait.
3. If you buy a small butternut squash and dice it yourself you will likely have extra. Save to enjoy as a side dish with another meal.
4. Keep the extra cup of candied pecans for up to 3 months in an airtight container to use for a nut and cheese platter for the holidays or enjoy on salads.
Thanks so much to Jill for contributing this recipe to the blog! If you test it out over the holidays be sure to tag @racquelfrisella and @jilliantedesco on your Instagram stories so we can check it out!