For any of the holidays - or just a normal dinner - this is a great middle or first course. I actually think I got the most compliments on the salad! "Taste explosion," as my friend described it.
Roasted Squash Salads with Cranberry Vinaigrette
- 1 acorn squash, halved
- 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 T. toasted pepitas, squash seeds or sesame seeds
- 1 c. cranberries
- ½ c. water
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 2 T. red wine vinegar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 c. arugula
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the seeds from the squash and season the flesh with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the halves flesh-side down on a baking sheet. Bake the squash for 45-55 minutes; until the flesh is tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the squash cooks, heat the cranberries, water, orange zest and cinnamon steak in a small pot. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and any large pieces of orange zest and transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the vinegar and orange juice. Blend to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse the arugula and plate 1 c. per person. Slice or dice the squash and divide it amongst the plates. Top each with a T. of the cheese and seeds. Drizzle the cranberry dressing over the salad and around the plate.