I’m starting to feel the slightest hint of fall in the air, which makes me very giddy! I love the leaves as they turn brilliant shades of gold, orange, and burnt red. I love the cooler temperatures. I love the holidays and celebrations…BUT I love the food of fall most of all! This salad is getting me into the fall season mood with squash, cranberries, and spicy pecans. The colors of these ingredients remind me of the colors that will surround me this season! These ingredients are so simple, yet so beautiful and work so well together. Spinach salads are my favorite because they are packed with phytonutrients and contain more satiating fat than some lettuce varieties. This salad is slightly sweet, slightly smoky, a little tart with just the right amount of spice. Enjoy!
1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 small sweet onion, large dice
2 tablespoons grape seed oil, divided
Sea salt + Black pepper
1 recipe Spicy Pecans
1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven. Toss the butternut squash cubes and sweet onions in 1 tablespoon grape seed oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until just tender.
Place baby spinach in a serving bowl along with the cranberries. Once the butternut squash and sweet onions are roasted, add them into the bowl. Add in the spicy pecans and toss everything together. Mix the remaining tablespoon of grape seed oil and the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar together and pour over the salad. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.