We know that getting your veggies in during the winter is a feat. If it’s not cooked in a soup, we mostly aren’t interested. To try and break out of these habits, we have really tried to up our salad game this winter. This salad is the wintery cousin of a traditional Cobb Salad. We start with arugula- a peppery lettuce that is a great pairing for richer ingredients. To the arugula we add roasted butternut squash, crispy bacon, toasted pecans, dried cherries, and blue cheese. Topped with our favorite balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is tremendously decadent and delicious. If you are like Tate’s mom and passionately hate blue cheese, goat cheese is a great substitute!
Makes: 4 entree salads (6+ side salads)
Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients for the Salad:
- 8 cups arugula
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash*
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
- 4 oz blue cheese (or cheese of your choice, cut into small chunks)
Ingredients for the Dressing:
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1 tbs + 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbs + 1 tsp balsamic glaze (any balsamic vinegar will work)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place the butternut squash on 2/3 of the pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Lay the bacon on the remaining 1/3 of the cookie sheet, making sure that nothing overlaps. Put in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to coat the butternut squash in some of the bacon fat.
- While the squash and bacon are cooking, make the salad dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small food processor and mix until well blended. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- When the butternut squash and bacon have finished cooking, remove from the oven and let cool so that the squash is just warm and not scorching. You don’t want it to wilt the arugula.
- Make the salad by layers the arugula, squash, pecans, cherries, and bacon onto a large serving platter. Drizzle the dressing over top and serve immediately.
*Many grocery stores sell pre-chopped butternut squash. You can usually find it in the frozen food section or refrigerated produce section and it makes life MUCH easier!