For a healthy winter salad recipe, combine your favorite baked squash with fresh spinach leaves in this delicious parsley and honey vinaigrette.
It’s easy to get sick of soups, roasts and risottos in the colder months. There comes a point when your body may be craving bright green vegetables and spring-like salads. Delicious vegetables like peas and tomatoes are absent from farmers markets and perhaps all you can find are squashes and potatoes. Still, your grocer is likely to have bags of baby spinach which pairs perfectly with small cubes of roasted butternut squash.
You can also adapt this salad recipe to fit your own favorites. I used butternut squash but acorn squash will work well. The parsley and honey dressing is slightly sweet and would go very well with arugula and sweet potatoes. If you can’t find pumpkin seeds, try sunflower seeds or even sliced almonds. This recipe calls for an orange but try a grapefruit for a more intense citrus component and a pretty pink addition to your plate.
If you’ve never roasted raw pumpkin seeds, you are in for a treat. The green seeds are sold without their shells, often labeled “pepitas,” the spanish word for seed of pumpkin or squash.
Here’s what they look like raw:
By quickly toasting the seeds in a hot pan with a tiny splash of oil and a pinch of salt, you get these amazing salty morsels. The seeds will start to pop but don’t be alarmed, just keep moving them and toasting evenly. Make a large batch and keep a small plastic bag of toasted pumpkin seeds at work for a healthy savory snack.
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Photos by Ally Jane Grossan