Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Arugula Salad with Roasted Harvest Vegetables, Goat Cheese, and Pepitas

As soon as the cooler weather hit, I was all over the winter squash selection.  Butternut squash soup and spaghetti squash with meat and veggie sauce came first, which put roasted winter squash on my to do next list.  And since I was contributing it to a dinner party, I figured I'd jazz things up a bit.  So I roasted the squash along with beets and rutabaga, and then used these as topping for a salad.  Definitely had better presentation than a simple pan of roasted squash, and the flavor was more festive too!

You can use a different mix of vegetables if you like.  Butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, or sweet potato would all work.  I liked the mix I used because it gave a fairly varied flavor profile and texture.  

This makes about 8 hearty side dishes or about 4 main course servings.

What you need:

Roasted Veggies:
1 large acorn squash, cut into ~1 1/2 inch chunks- I did NOT peel (or use butternut or your favorite winter squash)
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into ~1 1/4 inch chunks
1 bunch of beets, or three medium beets, cut into ~1 1/4 inch chunks
3 tablespoons walnut or olive oil
salt and pepper

Salad Stuff:
1 (5 ounce) container arugula
4-5 ounce goat cheese (the one I used happened to be herbed)
1/4-1/3 cup pepitas

1/2 apple cider or apple juice
1/4 apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 teaspoons mustard (I used a sweet and spicy Dijon-like variety, but really whatever mustard you like will do)
salt and pepper to taste

Roast the Veggies:

You can make this ahead of time and then reheat if you want.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spread all three cut veggies on a jelly roll sheet or 13 x 9 baking dish.  Drizzle with oil and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to evenly mix. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, tossing once about halfway through.  Veggies should be very lightly browned and tender.

Create the Salad:

Optional step: Toast the pepitas by placing in a small saucepan on medium heat.  Stir frequently for 4-5 minutes, or until they start to very lightly brown and you can smell a nutty aroma.  Take off heat and set side.

Make the dressing by whisking or blending all ingredients listed under dressing.

Place arugula in a large bowl.  Crumble goat cheese on top and then sprinkle with the pepitas.  Spoon the roasted vegetables into a pile in the middle.  Drizzle dressing on top.  Once you've let any guests/family members admire your presentation, toss it all together to evenly distribute the dressing.  
Serve and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment