Happy Friday!!! I’m sharing this awesome butternut squash salad with y’all. Woot!
For some reason, I’m particularly excited about today being Friday. Last week was the first “normal” week after the holidays, and I felt a little relieved to be back into a routine. So it went pretty quickly and painlessly.
But this week? This week had me wishing it was the holidays all over again so I could work 3 hour days, spend time with family, and take more naps. It honestly felt how I should have felt last week, but it somehow got pushed to this week.
Anybody with me on this one?
So due to the fact that I’ve been struggling through this week, I haven’t been cooking up many new recipes. I did make my ramen-style noodle bowls and my vegetarian pad thai, though, so that was fun. It’s pretty rare that I get to cook straight from a recipe, much less my own recipe, so that was kind of neat. It’s good for me to do every now and then so I can make sure I’m actually writing recipes that make sense!
So where did this recipe come from?
Well, I’ve been saving it for you!
I made this butternut squash & beet salad a few weeks ago, when my good friend Kathryn was in town. It was before the holidays, and with all the cookies, pies, more cookies, and sticky buns going on, it didn’t quite fit. So I decided to save it until January, when a healthy roasted butternut squash and beet salad would actually sound good.
The night we made this, though, we took it up to another friend’s house for dinner and there was barely enough to go around with the 5 of us there. I thought it was pretty fantastic. And it disappeared off all the plates, so I take that as a good sign.
It only takes as long to make as it takes to cut and roast the squash, so about 45 minutes. Not bad!
The salad has a base of israeli couscous and arugula. If you’re trying to avoid wheat products, I bet it would be great over a bed of wild rice, too. It’s topped off with sunflower seeds, pomegranate arils, and a simple lemon vinaigrette. Nommm.
I think this is best served cool or room temp, but if you are in a rush it would still be delicious served warm, though I would probably recommend heating the beets up in such case. Any way you serve it, it’ll be great!
This Butternut & Beet salad with couscous and pomegranate seeds is the perfect healthy winter dish. It's full of good-for-you greens and antioxidants and tastes amazing!
10 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 6 small roasted beets, cut into 1/2" dice*
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
- 2 cups lightly packed arugula leaves
- arils from half a medium pomegranate*
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp head ancho vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- pinch salt
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Cut the butternut squash in half horizontally (i.e. not through the stem). Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin, then cut off the stem and the butt. Cut each half in half through the ends and scrape out the seeds with a large spoon.
- Cut the flesh of the squash into 1/2" sized pieces. Toss with the olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper, then place on a baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes, tossing once, until easily pierced with a fork and lightly browned.
- Cook the israeli couscous according to package directions.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup.
- To assemble, place the couscous in the bottom of a large bowl and mix in the arugula. Top with the roasted butternut squash and the beets, then with the pomegranate arils and sunflower seeds.
- If serving cold, add half the dressing, then refrigerate. Add the remainder of the dressing just before serving. If serving warm, add all the dressing at once and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
- I used the pre-cooked beets found in the vegetable area of my local supermarket. If you want to use uncooked beets, roast them in a dutch oven at 400ºF for 1 hour, then peel and chop.
- You can buy just the pomegranate seeds if you don't want to de-seed one yourself. I would use about 1/3-1/2 cup.
Nutrition info per serving (serves 5):