Looking for a new way to use an acorn squash? Try adding it to a salad, like this arugula and squash salad recipe.
Recently, I polled my friends and family via text to ask them to name the first recipe with squash that came to mind. (Trust me, this is not the strangest text my loved ones have received from me.) I was not at all surprised when everyone named warm dishes like soup or stuffed acorn squash because that's how most of us enjoy the root vegetable. But TIL that winter squash can be just as delicious cold, and take your salad game to the next level.
"This is a great way to use acorn squash for something other than a hot, roasted dish," Mariah Gladstone, founder of Indigikitchen, says in the latest episode of Cook With Us. The "this" she's referring to: a super simple arugula and squash salad recipe, which she says works particularly well with any leftover roasted acorn squash. (Here is the best way to roast acorn squash, FYI.)
Gladstone makes the base of her salad using a half-and-half blend of spinach and arugula, pre-cooked acorn squash, and a few other easy ingredients (hint: one of them is everyone's favorite fruit). She combines maple, cranberry, and ginger flavors to make an autumn-ready vinaigrette that she drizzles over everything. "Everything balances so well in this recipe. The way that the acorn squash's sweetness is really brought out," she says. "It's also great because you're getting a diversity of nutrients, as well as a little bit of fat and protein."
Also, it should be mentioned that when everything is plated, it looks like it could be served in a restaurant. Meaning: it looks pretty, and lets you pretend for a moment that you don't miss dining out. Ready to use up those leftovers? Watch the video to get the full recipe.
Arugula and squash salad
For the salad:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 acorn squash, seeds removed and sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup whole pecans, chopped
1 Tbsp maple syrup
6 cups baby arugula
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup maple vinegar
1/2 inch section ginger root, freshly grated
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Cover the squash slices with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. Use same pan on low heat and add the pecans. Toast until they are slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking the pan as they toast, for about 5 minutes. Toss with maple syrup for the last minute.
3. Add the arugula to a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the avocado, cranberries, toasted pecans, and squash pieces.
4. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together and drizzle over salad.
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