Fresh Express salad challenge!

When I saw the Fresh Express Salad Challenge [from Foodbuzz], come through my inbox, I knew I had to enter!  Why?

  1. I am a salad freak.
  2. The winner receives $1,000 towards travel expenses for the Foodbuzz Festival in less than 3 weeks!!

I was excited to actually think about creating a complete salad recipe.  My typical mentality with salads is to throw any + all veggies + beans onto the salad, then top with a quick homemade dressing.

My first instinct was to create a fall-like salad. 

Enter the butternut squash, which is delicious and is extremely tasty after being roasted. 

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I peeled the skin off [least favorite part!] then sliced into rounds and got to cubing.  I’ve been feeling the rosemary lately and thought it would compliment the butternut squash along with garlic, salt + pepper.

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I needed a bit of contrasting flavor now, so enter the red onion.  While this sucker is pretty potent when raw, sautéing it in a pan mellows it out, into something quite nice.

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Presentation was on my mind at the beginning of this salad making adventure as well.  Chopped red onion gives nice contrast, but rings of red onion will look much fancier.  You all know how I like to get fancy. :)

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After roasting at 400* for 40min, the butternut squash is fluffy, creamy, and fragrant. 

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Time for a simple dressing that will contrast with the savory toppings but not weigh the salad down.

olive oil + balsamic vinegar + apple cider vinegar + honey + salt

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Salad completion!

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See, I told you the red onions look better in circle form ;)  I sprinkled some of my roasted garlic + rosemary pumpkin seeds on top as well.  Because “crunch” is a necessary part of salads! 

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This was enjoyed on top of a fluffy, crisp bed of Fresh Express Spring Mix.

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Besides crunch, salads also need a little cheese.  Goat cheese sounded like the perfect match!

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Thanks to Foodbuzz + Fresh Express for putting on this challenge, and for the fabulous coupons that I have shared with friends + blog readers.

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Lunch tiiiiiiime :)

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Roasted Butternut Squash + Rosemary Salad [serves 2-4]

  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled + cubed [medium size]
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1T rosemary, chopped fresh
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1/4t salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion
  • goat cheese
  • crunchy topping [like roasted pumpkin seeds]
  1. Roast butternut squash with 1T olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper at 400* for about 40min, turning once or twice.
  2. While squash is roasting, cut onion parallel with the ends, to create circular cuts about 1/2” thick.
  3. Over med-low heat, sauté onion rings in 1T olive oil for about 5min per side.
  4. Let squash + onions cool for about 5min before topping on salad.
  5. Top lettuce with squash, onions, cheese, and pumpkin seeds.
  6. Pour on dressing.

Honey Balsamic Dressing [1 serving]

  • 1T olive oil
  • 1T balsamic vinegar [4% acidity – sweet + thick]
  • 1/2T apple cider vinegar
  • 1t honey
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt
  1. Whisk together and pour on salad.