Peppery arugula is tossed with roasted butternut squash and tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and juicy pomegranate seeds. The combination is made all the more festive with a generous drizzle of cranberry-orange vinaigrette. This roasted butternut squash, tomato, and arugula salad with cranberry-orange vinaigrette is packed with vitamin A and vitamin C, making it an ideal immunity-boosting and festive fall meal.
I hope you all had a beautiful weekend—or perhaps you’re still in the midst of yours if you have off for Columbus Day, in which case I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend.
This weekend marked a sort of transition for Dan and for us, as a couple, too. On Friday, he said goodbye to his growing team of colleagues at the company he’s worked at for five years. Today, he’ll say hello to two fellow cofounders as they set out to build their own company together. This is something he’s wanted to do for a very long time, and I’m so proud of him for pursuing his dreams.
A year ago, if you would have told me that I would be on a leave from work and Dan would beginning this adventure at the same time, my mind would have dizzied itself with fear. With so much uncertainty swirling around both of our careers at the same time, it would be easy to fall into a web of “what if’s” and open-ended questions. And while the worry-prone portion of my mind could have a field day pondering the potential outcomes of our chosen circumstances, the fateful, trusting part of my heart knows that no matter the outcome, this all feels so right at the moment.
More to come on this topic as the story unfolds. For now, let’s get caught up in this tangled fall abyss . . .
Peppery arugula is tossed with roasted butternut squash and tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and juicy pomegranate seeds. The combination is made all the more festive with a generous drizzle of cranberry-orange vinaigrette.
The tomatoes are tossed in smoked paprika and the butternut squash is tossed in a combination of cinnamon and smoked paprika. The tomatoes and butternut roast in tandem, with the tomatoes finishing up just a few minutes before the butternut squash.
As the tomatoes and butternut are roasting, you’ll prepare the cranberry-orange vinaigrette. Add thawed frozen cranberries, orange zest, fresh orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, sea salt, and black pepper to a food processor, and process until the mixture is emulsified and the cranberries are thoroughly chopped. The result is a tangy, bright, and subtly sweet vinaigrette that pops against the flavors within the salad.
Once everything is prepared, divide the arugula between bowls or plates and top with the roasted tomatoes and butternut squash, the pomegranate seeds, and the pine nuts. Then, drizzle with the cranberry-orange vinaigrette, and serve.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Tomato, and Arugula Salad with Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette
Peppery arugula is tossed with roasted butternut squash and tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and juicy pomegranate seeds. The combination is made all the more festive with a generous drizzle of cranberry-orange vinaigrette. This salad is packed with vitamin A and vitamin C, making it an ideal immunity-boosting and festive fall meal.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomatoes
- pound One small 1- butternut squash, peeled
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (or a mix of both)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup thawed frozen cranberries, juices drained
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (zest of about 1 medium orange)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds (the seeds from about 1 medium pomegranate)
- 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
For the Roasted Butternut and Tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line two large rimmed baking trays with parchment paper.
Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the peeled squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut the squash into small, 1/2-inch cubes and transfer to one of the lined baking trays. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the smoked paprika, and the cinnamon. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.
Add the halved cherry tomatoes to the other lined pan, drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon smoked paprika. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Toss to coat and spread out into an even layer across the pan.
Transfer both pans to the oven. Roast the tomatoes for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender, blistered, and just beginning to turn golden-brown at the edges. Roast the butternut squash for 20 to 25 minutes, or until fork tender and just beginning to caramelize, flipping at the 15-minute mark.
Remove both pans from the oven and let cool slightly.
For the Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette*
Meanwhile, add all the vinaigrette ingredients to a food process and process for 20 seconds, or emulsified. The cranberries should be very finely chopped.
Divide the arugula between bowls or plates. Top with the pomegranate seeds, pinenuts, and roasted butternut squash and tomatoes. Drizzle each salad with as much of the vinaigrette as desired and serve immediately.
*Alternatively, you can make this Balsamic Vinaigrette (with or without the thyme leaves) for a tangier, more savory variation.