A weird thing happened recently. I’ve headed hit a major salad rut. They just don’t sound appealing. This has left me completely confused, as I’m typically a salad lover.
However, I figured out the problem. It was due to the mundane combination I’ve made time + time again. It has been our go-to with dinners for the past 2 years and it’s finally time to be retired. At least for a few months…
hemp oil + apple cider vinegar + balsamic + lettuce + carrots + cucumber + pepitas
Once in awhile something different is thrown in the mix but that is the standard. It’s been far too long since I’ve made a more jazzed up dressing and included a wider range of ingredients.
The idea started with this local kabocha squash. I couldn’t get over the vibrant orange color.
I wanted to keep this salad seasonal, so pears were added to the mix.
Fall foods are so richly colored. I just love it.
It seems like pistachios are an often ignored nut in recipes. I decided to use them in the dressing recipe along with adding them to the salad for crunch and flavor.
Roasted + tender.
Finally, a new go-to dressing.
It’s slightly sweet, with a kick of garlic, and a bright orange flavor.
Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with an Orange Honey Pistachio Vinaigrette
gluten-free, grain-free // serves 4-6
- 1 kabocha squash
- 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- salt + pepper
- washed + dried spinach
- 2 pears
- feta or goat cheese
Orange Honey Pistachio Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 3 tablespoons unsalted pistachios
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 tablespoons honey
- 1.5 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large pan with parchment paper.
- Quarter the kabocha squash then cut 1/4-1/2” slices.
- Place on the pan and pour the melted coconut oil overtop along with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Rub the slices to coat and place in a single layer.
- Roast for about 35 minutes flipping over once halfway through.
- Let cool and carefully cut the skins off of each slice.
- While roasting, combine all dressing ingredients in your blender.
- Blend, starting at a medium speed and working to high until smooth.
- Taste and add more salt, pepper, or honey if desired and blend again until smooth.
- The dressing will thicken as it sits or once refrigerated. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Assemble salad with spinach, thinly sliced pears, cooled squash, pistachios, dressing, and cheese if desired.
notes: For a vegan version sub maple syrup instead of honey and leave off the cheese.
The salad love is back.