This is my kind of salad. Meal sized. Veggie filled. Protein packed. Crunchy + chewy, with a hint of sweet.
Today’s post is sponsored by Earthbound Farm. Product opinions are always my own. If I didn’t love it, you wouldn’t hear about it.Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored post that helps fund all the deliciousness + behind the scenes action you see here.
The sweetness comes from the juicy, orange vinaigrette and also from the jewel colored pomegranate arils that top the salad. I adore using oranges in wintery salads. It just adds this layer of brightness that is so needed during these chilly months. It’s like a little bit of sunshine in your mouth.
Twice now I’ve sprayed pomegranate juice on our newly installed (my last tiling project, I swear!) white backsplash with white grout. Slight freakouts have ensued, but luckily I’ve gotten it clean with some quick scrub action.
I know, I should be doing the whole remove seeds in the bowl of water, thing, but then that just means more dishes. Although, I guess the time scrubbing the backsplash was probably more time than cleaning one bowl. Lesson learned. Thank you.
If you have a hard time eating huge, ice cold salads during the winter months, then this salad will be your new winter go-to. It’s served warm (but fab from the fridge as well!) and the greens are only slightly wilted from tossing with the roasted ingredients just before serving.
Pro-tip: If you have a container of greens that is about to go bad and you can’t finish it off, place the greens in a freezer bag. Squeeze the air out and seal. Now you have greens that are ready to throw into your smoothies. I often buy extra containers of baby greens just for freezing.
There are a few veggie staples I always have in the freezer.
- butternut squash
- greens (frozen as mentioned above)
Having these on hand all of the time is so helpful. I frequently add them to our weeknight meals and they’re also great in a pinch when I realize our fresh veggie drawer has been depleted. I use the corn for Tex-Mex meals, peas in pasta and soups, edamame for stir-fry nights, greens in smoothies, and butternut squash for soups, smoothies, and roasting. I love knowing I can count Earthbound Farm’s organic frozen vegetables. Everything is always plump and vibrant, which I can’t always say for other brands.
This salad has so much going on texturely, which is probably why I love it so much. And also that orange dressing. Dang is it good.
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
gluten-free, vegan // yields about 4 servings
for the salad:
- 1/2 cup uncooked black (beluga) lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1, 10oz package EBF organic frozen butternut squash, thawed (or just over 2 cups fresh/frozen)
- 3 medium EBF organic broccoli heads, chopped (5 cups florets)
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3-4 handfuls EBF organic arugula
- pomegranate arils
- feta cheese (optional)
for the dressing:
- 1/4 cup fresh squeeze orange juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- big pinch salt + pepper
Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until well mixed. Set aside and give a light shake every 5 minutes or so while cooking.
Cook lentils according to package directions. Once boiling, they should take about 20-25 minutes. Taste at 18 minutes to test for doneness. Drain but don't rinse and place back in the pot off the heat.
Preheat your oven to 425° F. Place thawed butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with a 2 teaspoons of oil. Roast for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through.
Decrease your oven to 400° F. Keep the butternut squash in the oven. Toss the broccoli and onion with about 2-3 teaspoons of oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes, turning once halfway through. The broccoli should be tender and lightly browned. Turn the butternut squash again as well. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme to the broccoli pan and toss together. Roast for another 4-7 minutes until the garlic starts to brown.
While cooking, add quinoa and 1 1/4 cups water to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil over med-high heat. Stir then cover and reduce heat to a constant simmer for 15 minutes. Check to make sure liquid has absorbed by tilting the pan. Keep the lid on and take off the heat.
Place butternut squash, lentils, quinoa, and arugula on the broccoli baking sheet. Shake the dressing once more. Remove the garlic and pour desired amount of dressing on the salad. Toss to combine and place in a large serving bowl. Top with pomegranates and serve with extra dressing on the side.
Serve warm or chilled.
notes: If the butternut squash happens to brown before the broccoli is done, simply remove it from the oven and place back in for a minute or two to heat back up.
Winter salad of your dreams and perfect to pack for lunch all week long.
Thanks again to Earthbound Farm for sponsoring this post.