Butternut Squash Salad with Quinoa and Feta

Growing up, a  salad meant iceberg lettuce, wedge tomatoes, cucumbers, and a choice of French, Thousand Island, Bleu Cheese or Italian. Of course there was the occasional Waldorf for fancy occasions, and various Jello molds were positioned as salads. Then came the ’80s and the pasta salad. Rotini, black olives, canned artichokes, red pepper.

I was thinking these thoughts this weekend as I tried out a Butternut Squash and Bleu Cheese Salad recipe from Real Simple that my sister had raved about and forwarded to me. I switched up the ingredients a bit: primarily Feta instead of Bleu cheese since Bleu isn’t on my 100 Ingredients list.

Butternut squash and feta salad

My question is, at what point was the lid completely blown off the salad box?  I don’t have the discipline or the inclination to keep a “Gratitude Journal,” but I do, upon occasion take stock of my blessings, and among them is the fact that I’m living in a time where roasted squash and Feta cheese gets incorporated into a salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. organix apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly roasted
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel squash and cut into cubes. Toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Roast squash for 30 minutes, tossing once.

Spread almonds in small baking dish. Roast at 350 for 10 minutes.

Whisk together vinegar, Dijon, remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spread spinach leaves on a large platter. Allow squash to cool slightly before adding to spinach. Top salad with onions, almonds and feta.  Toss with dressing.