With the holidays quickly approaching, it is time to begin planning your festive menus. Whether you are hosting your own celebration or attending a dinner at friends and family, there can be a lot of pressure for creating the perfect dish! This salad is a great option for any holiday meal. The squash, quinoa and dressing can be made ahead of time. All that is left is mixing it together! The salad is full of flavor and heartiness with incorporating whole grains, leafy greens, and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Delicata Squash, Pomegranate, Quinoa Kale Salad
1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 unpeeled medium delicate squash, halved, seeded, cut in half, then cut into slices
1 bunch of kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 ½ cups pomegranate seeds
goat cheese, to crumble on top
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup dried quinoa
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups water
Whisk together vinegars and add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, taste and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Slice the squash length-wise in half. Scoop out the seeds and slice the squash into crescents. Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of the squash and cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet. Melt 2 more teaspoons of butter in the skillet and do another batch. Continue until all of the squash are browned.
With all of your squash in a single layer on the baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Rinse quinoa using a fine mesh strainer. In a medium sauce pan, warm up the olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup of quinoa and toast for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the water and sea salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let the quinoa rest with the lid on for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
Wash kale leaves and remove the stems. Roughly chop and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss with vinegar dressing, massaging the kale. Add the pomegranate seeds, and mix together. Start by adding 1 cup of quinoa, mix thoroughly. At this point you can add more quinoa or save the remainder for later. Top with roasted squash and crumble creamy goat cheese over the squash and salad.