Roasted Beet & Butternut Squash Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

This recipe is a celebration of one of an overlooked yet versatile vegetable—the humble beet. Featured in soups, purees and sometimes even cakes, this vibrant gem of a product can find its way into many an entrée in a supporting role, but for this dish it is the center piece, paired with some exceptional fresh products, including some outstanding feta cheese from Indiana dairy, Caprini Creamery.

The zing and sweetness of the in-season navel oranges are at the heart of the balsamic vinaigrette. This light dressing pairs beautifully with earthy beets, the creamy feta, and the smooth, syrupiness from the candied pecans. Added sharpness and crunch comes in the form of jewel-like pieces of pomegranate that help turn this salad into a joyful bowl full of color and freshness, which can easily be adapted to be served as a side dish or as star of your holiday dinner.

Instructions

Melt the sugar and water on medium heat until dissolved and bubbling gently. Add the pecans and stir for 3 minutes until well coated. Remove from the heat before cooling on a lined baking tray.

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Trim the beets, setting aside the leaves as they’re a welcome addition to the spring mix, before scrubbing clean under running cold water. Dice the butternut squash and slice the beets lengthways into quarters or even eighths, and drizzle both vegetables with oil and season to taste before roasting for 35-40 minutes.

De-seed the pomegranate by scoring the six ridges from top to bottom. Over a bowl of water, split the fruit in half, before picking out the seeds under water. Add the beet leaves to the spring mix before topping your salad with the crumbled feta, pomegranate seeds, candied pecans, butternut squash and beet wedges. In a small jar, blend the dressing ingredients before drizzling liberally over the salad.


Recipe Credit

Phoebe Male is a food and travel blogger based in Southwest Ohio. She moved to the US from England in 2015 and is on a mission to get the best out of the Midwest. Her love of food and travel is made clear through innovative and inviting still life photography, paired with a delightfully captivating style of writing. For more recipes and reviews, follow her on Instagram at @milkwithnosugar.