December Tip and Recipe from Chef Mike McCauley

Chef's Tip 

Holiday meals are not known to be full of healthy options, so when I go to dinner I try to bring something to balance out the traditional dishes. Try this recipe that incorporates squash served at room temperature in a spinach salad. This one is sure to surprise your family and is always a winner at my house. Happy holidays! 

Roasted Squash Salad with Baby Arugula, Dried Cranberries, Pine Nuts and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

For the Roasted Squash

  • 2 pounds Delicata or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 8 cups baby arugula or mixed greens
  • Pomegranate Vinaigrette as needed (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Roast the squash- Place a rack into the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the squash cubes in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Spread on a baking sheet in one layer without crowding. Roast squash for 20 minutes. Gently stir the squash, and roast another 10-15 minutes or until very tender, but not falling apart. Cool until room temperature.

Put the greens into a large salad bowl and toss with the dressing and salt to taste. Only use as much dressing as you need to coat the greens lightly. Arrange salad on plates, top with roasted squash. Sprinkle with dried cranberries, and pine nuts, and serve.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Makes about ½ cup

  • ¼ cup pomegranate or raspberry vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to emulsify.

 Serves 8

Carbohydrates 11 g(4%)
Fat 19 g(30%)
Protein 2 g(5%)
Saturated Fat 3 g(13%)
Sodium 115 mg(5%)
Polyunsaturated Fat2 g
Fiber 3 g(10%)
Monounsaturated Fat 14g