Eating foods that are in season provide us with the greatest nutrients to stay healthy and feel our best. Winter squashes are full of vitamins, flavor and texture. Consider this delicious green and acorn salad that’s perfect for any holiday party or family meal. Enjoy!
- 1 small acorn squash (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 cup organic extra-virgin or avocado oil
- A dash of pimenton (smoked paprika)
- Sea or Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon of Xylitol for sweetening (to taste if using Stevia)
- 4 ounces (8 cups) mix of baby arugula, baby spinach and baby kale
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (pasture raised, grass fed)
- 2 tablespoons sweet and salty pepitas, recipe follows
Sweet and Salty Pepitas:
- Avocado oil, for the baking sheet
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (pasture raised)
- 2 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 2 tablespoons Xylitol
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Sea or Himalayan salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Thoroughly wash the outside of the squash
- Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes till rind softens enough to easily cut.
- Remove from oven and slice it crosswise into 1/2-inch rings. Remove
and discard the pulp and seeds.
- Combine the squash rings with 1/4 cup of the oil, the pimenton and some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss to coat.
- Spread the squash on a baking sheet and roast until tender, 20 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, shallot, mustard and sweetener in a small bowl.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
- Toss the greens and cheese with half of the dressing in a large salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and toss again.
- Arrange the squash rings over the top and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Scatter the sweet and salty pepitas over the squash and serve.
- (Please note, eat only the inside of the squash, not the rinds.)
Preparation of Sweet and Salty Pepitas:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly oil the foil.
- Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add the pepitas, toss to coat in the butter and then add the sweetener, cinnamon, ginger and allspice and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Spread the pepitas on the prepared baking sheet in 1 layer and bake, stirring once or twice, until golden brown all over, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Let cool completely. Yield: 2 1/2 cups.Enjoy!
(Adapted from “One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes and Stories from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond” by Valerie Bertinelli (c) Rodale 2012.)