Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

This is my kind of salad. Meal sized. Veggie filled. Protein packed. Crunchy + chewy, with a hint of sweet.

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com

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.

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com

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.

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com

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.

Arugula adds the perfect spicy bite this salad needs and helps balance the sweetness. Thank goodness for fresh + flavorful greens during the winter months. Earthbound Farm is on its game year-round.

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.

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com

There are a few veggie staples I always have in the freezer.

  • corn
  • peas
  • edamame
  • 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.

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com

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 | edibleperspective.com
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com

It’s not all about doughnuts and nog this month. I love getting in those greens, too!

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com

Print Recipe!

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. 

Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com
Broccoli and Butternut Squash Grain Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | edibleperspective.com

Winter salad of your dreams and perfect to pack for lunch all week long.

Ashley

Thanks again to Earthbound Farm for sponsoring this post.

sweet and savory brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts are a funny thing.

I don’t think I had ever tried them until the age of 24.  And then wondered where they had been all my life.  Mom?  Dad??

Why do these beauties get such a bad rap?  I’m pretty sure 89% of the population secretly loves this vegetable and the other 11% are in denial.  I mean, even Jessica loves brussel sprouts!

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A few months back, my mom sent me a few articles + recipes in the mail.  This is a pretty common occurrence, which I love, even though it may take me a month to actually read the articles.

Typically, the article topics are about architecture, food, or something cool about Cleveland, hinting for us to move back. 

In my latest package, there were a few recipes pulled out from the Whole Living magazine.  While I was back home, we decided to try one of them out for Christmas dinner. 

The Whole Living dish we made was for roasted brussel sprouts with grapes and thyme.  Yes, roasted grapes!  The other dish we made was a quinoa salad, with apples, pears, walnuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon roasted walnuts and Angela’s amazing cranberry apple orange salad dressing.

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There were 26 people at Christmas dinner.  Everyone contributed to the meal.  And everything was outstanding.  But I must say the most talked about dish may have been the brussel sprouts.  People were so excited to see them on the spread.

I was kind of embarrassed to bring them.  I felt like I was showing up with steamed broccoli.  Merrrrry Christmas!!!  Eat your vegetables!!!!  I thought we would have to take 1.5 of the 2lbs home with us.  But, to my surprise the pan was wiped clean.  This is when I realized 89% of people love brussel sprouts.

Don’t deny it!

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Roasting grapes was an amazing addition.  Such a fun + unexpected pop of juice!

I have been thinking about them ever since December 25th and finally decided to whip up another batch.  This time with a little different spin.

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I wanted to put this recipe a little more in the winter category with the addition of citrus + pomegranate.  My citrus of choice was the clementine.  They are incredibly easy to peel, have no seeds, and have little pith [the bitter white skin].

While I love brussel sprouts, I actually have a love-hate relationship with pomegranates.  Everyone seems to go ga-ga over this fruit, but I just don’t get it.  You spend an hour popping out these little seeds, inevitably staining your favorite sweater, only to be teased with a single drop of sweet juice from each little pod.  And then, you are left with a fibrous seed, to either spit or swallow.

But about once a year I dig in to this beautiful fruit and enjoy.  Today was that day.

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Sweet and Savory Brussel Sprouts

serves 4

[adapted from Whole Living – Nov 2011 – Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts]

  • 1 lb brussel sprouts
  • 3 clementines, peeled
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts/pecans, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1.5 Tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 450*.
  2. Chop the stems off and slice the brussel sprouts in half. 
  3. Chop the clementines in half.
  4. Toss all ingredients, except for the balsamic vinegar, in a single layer on large baking sheet. 
  5. Roast for 20-25min, until the sprouts are tender and golden brown.
  6. While roasting, gently toast walnuts or pecans in a pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until golden brown.
  7. Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pan + gently tossing with the ingredients.
  8. Top with nuts and add more salt if needed.
  9. Serve immediately.

tips/substitutions:  Instead of pomegranate arils, you could also add 3/4 cup chopped cranberries or raisins after the dish is done cooking. 

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If you’re in a rut with what to do with brussel sprouts, this is definitely worth a shot.  A little sweet, a little savory.

89% of people will approve.

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Now, I’m off to finish off the leftovers straight from the fridge, with a side of dark chocolate.

Ashley