Roasted squash with citrus dressing: The refreshingly tangy and mildly sweet, citrus dressing used in this dish, makes a perfect foil for the earthy flavor of the roasted butternut squash. The fresh, pomegranate seeds add a pleasing crunch, and their vibrant, jewel tones impart a visual appeal, making this a great dish for your holiday gatherings as well. Packed with phyto-nutrients, this dish is surprisingly simple to make. If you want a truly “no-fuss” recipe, just skip steps 4 and 5 while preparing the salad.
Have you ever used pomegranate or roasted squash in salads, or orange juice in your home made salad dressings??
For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk above ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
Ingredients: For the salad
- 1/2 of a medium-size butternut squash
- 1 small orange, peeled and chopped into segments
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 tsp (1 tbsp) olive oil + 1 teaspoon for greasing baking sheet
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Seeds from one medium pomegranate
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped, mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease a rimmed baking sheet with the one teaspoon of oil and set aside.
- Cut butternut squash crosswise into semi-circle or half-moon sections.
- With a melon baller, press down with one hand on the straight edge of the cut squash firmly.
- Keep pressing down until you are able to cut a semi-circle arc out of the squash segment (see figures, 1, 2 and 3).
- Transfer the cut squash to a medium bowl.
- Add the diced onion to the squash in the bowl, and toss with the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread over the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, turning about 3-4 times during the process, so that the squash gets some brown spots, but does not char.
- Remove from the oven and transfer roasted squash and caramelized onions to a serving bowl.
- Add orange segments and pomegranate seeds.
- Toss with prepared dressing.
- Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.
A Registered Dietitian’s tip: Pomegranates are nutrient powerhouses. Packed in antioxidants and phyto-nutrients, they contain punicic acid, a type of fatty acid that is a key constituent of pomegranate seed oil (PSO), and has been shown in clinical studies to favorably impact cholesterol levels. In addition, pomegranate peel extract contains several compounds with antioxidative properties. Emerging evidence shows that the addition of pomegranate peel extract to foods may reduce oxidative stress in the gut as well. Like all antioxidants, pomegranate seeds and the juice leave a stain behind.
Butternut squash: Butternut squash is abundant in an antioxidant called beta carotene, which is a Vitamin A precursor in the body. Antioxidants help fight free radicals that can cause oxidative damage to the body, eventually leading to chronic disease. High in fiber, squash is also rich in potassium, a key mineral for regulating your blood pressure.
Oranges: Oranges are high in fiber, potassium and Vitamin C, another potent antioxidant. This delicious salad, with it’s abundance of nutrients and visual appeal is sure to beckon your guests back for seconds!
Recipe inspired by Eating Well magazine, November 2015 edition.
Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for informative purposes, and should not be construed as medical advice. Please refer to your physician or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored to your unique needs.