My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with an Orange Honey Pistachio Vinaigrette

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.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

The idea started with this local kabocha squash.  I couldn’t get over the vibrant orange color.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

I wanted to keep this salad seasonal, so pears were added to the mix.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

Fall foods are so richly colored.  I just love it.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

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 Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

Roasted + tender.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

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 Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette | edible perspective

Roasted Kabocha Squash Spinach Salad with an Orange Honey Pistachio Vinaigrette [serves 4-6]

  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • salt + pepper
  • washed + dried spinach
  • 2 pears
  • pistachios
  • 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
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large pan with parchment paper.
  2. Quarter the kabocha squash then cut 1/4-1/2” slices.
  3. 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.
  4. Roast for about 35 minutes flipping over once halfway through.
  5. Let cool and carefully cut the skins off of each slice.
  6. While roasting, combine all dressing ingredients in your blender.
  7. Blend, starting at a medium speed and working to high until smooth.
  8. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or honey if desired and blend again until smooth.
  9. The dressing will thicken as it sits or once refrigerated.  Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  10. 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. 

Kabocha Squash Salad with Orange Pistachio Vinaigrette - edible perspective-11

The salad love is back.


Reader Comments (24)

I love how creative people can be when it comes to pumpkins! Oh I think this is brilliant! Do you think it will go well with Roasted Chicken for a dinner with the famjam? We will have some gatherings this Halloween and this recipe is just perfect!
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSan Diego Foodie
Wow, this salad looks tasty :) I've recently discovered a love of pistachios and wondered what I could do with them ((apart from eat them by the handful ;) )).
I have never seen pears so bright!! What type are the red pears?? Looks great for Autumn ((Fall)) :).
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJade C
Mmmm, I love roasted squash in my salad. I made such a similar salad last week but with butternut. I have a hard time finding Kabocha around here.
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
Beautiful squash!! And great salad- add a few roasted beets and it would be the perfect salad for me right now.
My doctor told me I have a little bit of an orange hue from all the beta carotene-containing foods I eat.. and now it's fall and I'm just going to get oranger... =)
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
This salad looks so good! I love putting roasted veggies and squash into salads. I've never tried kabocha squash, I can't find it anywhere near me! I always keep an eye open for it though, and I'm going to keep looking!
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
I just had kabocha squash for the first time ever and I'm totally smitten. This looks amazing and salads are much-needed in my life after this weekend. Win/win :)
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
@San Diego Foodie - Although I don't eat chicken myself, I think it would be a great pairing. I hope the family enjoys it!

@Jade - I believe they were Red Bartletts.

@Anna - I didn't know that could actually happen!! Too funny. It's a nice fall/winter glow!

@Liz - Any squash would work well. Butternut squash would be my next choice.
October 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Gorgeous pictures!
This looks perfect for fall...and your photography makes it THAT much more enticing....Question..My husband despises pears..(groan...Ii love them)..Could I possibly sub fresh figs or apples for them?...
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna
This looks delicious, Ashley! I've saved it and will be searching out a kabocha squash at my farmers' market tomorrow so this can become a lunch salad for the week. Glad to see you're getting a little break from all the donuts, but I hope the recipe development is still going well on that front!
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
What a beautiful salad! I've never had squash on a salad, sounds intriguing. I usually love using lemon juice in my salad dressings, but it's often too tangy for some.. orange sounds like a nice citrusy substitute :)
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Blonde Ambition
YUM. I'm stuck inside all day with this hurricane howling outside. I'm on a roasting frenzy - have to cook everything now just in case we lose power! I think i'll make a version of this with a butternut i've got on the counter : )
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen Papaya
Donna - Apples would be perfect! I also threw on some red bell pepper for my husband instead of pear as he doesn't like fruit on salads. Boys... ;)

@Beth - The doughnut recipes are going really well. It's so nice when I can carve out a little time to make something other than doughnuts though. :)

Katie - Yes! The orange juice really mellowed things out. It still had a nice tang but wasn't mouth puckering.

@Jen - Butternut squash will work perfectly. Stay safe!!
October 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
I roasted my first kabocha squash of the season last week- and then went right back and bought two more at the farmers market this weekend. SO. GOOD.
The recipe for the salad and the dressing sound delicious! I love all of the ingredients (but would just have to hold off the goat cheese, which breaks my heart...)
Wow, this sounds and looks like such a tasty combo. I will definitely be making this dressing ASAP!
I've never had Kabocha squash, but I bet this would be good with any firm squash... Yum. I just ate and you're making me hungry anyway...
October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy (Easy as Pie Recipes)
I made a variation of this for lunches this week (added quinoa, used butternut squash and arugula), and all I have to say is... it is fabulous! It tastes so fresh and delicious. The dressing is a winner. :)
October 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefani
The salad looks amazing, yes, but your photography! I would definitely blow up that pear picture and hang it in my kitchen. If we knew each other, I'd ask for that for Christmas!
October 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara @ sarasmiles
um wow. that's all. wow. recipe, pictures, everything. you are so talented in the kitchen and behind the camera!!!!
October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeri {a foodie stays fit}
I just bought one of these squash at the stock up sale at the farmer's market and couldn't decide what to do with it. Thank you for helping me figure it out!
November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
This is pretty much exactly what I was looking for! I had a very vague idea floating around in my head for something healthy with winter squash, pears maybe, some kind of nut, and a green. It's like you read my mind with this post. I will be making this tonight.
November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
I made this salad a few days before T-Day, and now I want to bear children for you. Ya know, in a platonic sort of way. :) But, seriously, this salad was A-mazing. So freakin delicious. I was a total pig and only served one itty bitty portion to my BF so I could keep the rest for myself. If I could bathe myself in this, I would. :-)

(PS. Long time reader, first time poster; that's how good this was. So, yeah, I love you. ;-p )
November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
@Liz - I think I love you as much as you love this salad! ;) Thanks so much for saying hello and for letting me know you enjoyed the recipe! You also just reminded me I need to make that dressing again. Take care!
November 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Oh, I made this salad last night, wonderful! Thank you ever so much for the recipe. I rcvd a Kabocha in my CSA box and did not know what to do with it. I love you site!
December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersandy

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