This fresh and colorful salad is filled with roasted butternut squash, fresh lettuce and spinach, and lots of crunchy pine nuts. A sweet and tangy homemade maple-dijon vinaigrette adds a perfect finishing touch to this pretty salad!
Bright and colorful recipes continue….Is spring ever going to come?
We got about 5 more inches of snow dumped on us this weekend and the bitter cold temperatures continue. As I type this I am currently cuddled under a huge blanket that I have practically been living in this frigid cold winter. ‘Geez I hate winter!
Let’s move on to cheerier things….like this salad…I am this close to head-butting my face into the screen.
This salad is So. Good….I know I don’t usually share salad recipes with you, but that is changing! It seems like all I’m craving these days are fresh, colorful foods, mainly anything with fruits and veggies.
One of my New Years resolutions was to post more savory recipes on WAHO because sometimes it seems that all I ever share with you is sweets, sweets, and more sweets. (don’t worry—I promise there will still be plenty of sweet stuff coming!)
I am totally a salad kind of girl—I LOVE a nice big salad for lunch….but salads are just kind of a pain to photograph you know? I was worried that the pictures for this salad would look terrible, but I was actually pretty pleased with how they turned out! All the colorful veggies really stand out and just look really nice together. Not to mention that the salad tasted incredible….I decided it was just meant to be that I share this salad with you.
I have a plain green salad with plain old ranch dressing nearly every day for lunch and I get so tired of the same old thing. Sooo yesterday I decided that boring salads were just not acceptable. I got right to work brainstorming some new and different flavors of salad combos. I threw some COLOR and a twist of different flavors into this salad….andd..
Oh my gosh, you guys, the combination of FLAVORS in this salad is mind-blowing! The sweet butternut squash….the crisp lettuce and spinach….the crunchy pine nuts….and the tangy maple dressing drizzled over the whole thing….They all just compliment each other so well!
I must admit that after one taste of this salad I have decided that I am never going back to regular old greens again.
Bonus: This salad is gourmet enough for a more formal lunch, but it’s also simple (and easy!) enough for a regular weekday lunch.
This salad is mindlessly easy to prepare—The longest part is probably just roasting the butternut squash and that only takes 25 minutes!
Start by peeling, seeding, and cutting 1 small butternut squash into 1/2 in cubes. It helps to have a super-sharp knife for this job—winter squash can be kind of tricky to cut with weak knife. Spread your squash cubes into a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400F 25 minutes, or until tender. Cool your squash cubes completely before adding to your salad.
While your squash cools, toss together your torn romaine lettuce, baby spinach, and toasted pine nuts (if pine nuts aren’t your thing, feel free to sub pecans, walnuts, or almonds) together in a large serving bowl. Set aside while your prepare your dressing…
This vinaigrette is incredible—It’s sweet and tangy and pairs just perfectly with the roasted butternut squash. Although it may sound like an odd combination, you won’t believe how well the maple syrup and dijon mustard go together! It’s also not super-heavy like most dressings—and it’s made in less than 5 minutes with pure, natural ingredients.
Maple syrup, oil, cider vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper get shaken up in a jar with a tight-fitting lid until smooth. (you may have to adjust the sweetness or sourness of the vinaigrette with more maple syrup or cider vinegar to suit your personal taste.)
It’s assembly time! Toss your cooled squash cubes with the lettuce/spinach/nuts mixture… Serve yourself a nice-sized helping…
And generously douse with your maple vinaigrette.
Dig in. It’s Monday after all..
Butternut Squash Salad With Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette
- 1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 in cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups torn romaine lettuce
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted (optional)
- MAPLE DIJON VINAIGRETTE:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon prepared dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Q: Do you guys want to see more salad recipes in the near future? I have a few more fun salads up my sleeve. 😉
Cate @ Chez CateyLou says
This salad is gorgeous! I love butternut squash in anything, so this is right up my alley!
Thanks, Cate! If you love butternut squash this salad is definitely for you! 😉
Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes says
This salad looks so fresh and colourful!
Thanks, Jessica! 🙂
Renew Your Space says
Ah – this is great! I just bought some butternut squash – looks fabulous!
Yeahh! Perfect, Renee—Love that great timing! 🙂
Jennifer S. says
That looks great. I like colorful salads with nuts. I know the lettuce can be crunchy, but I like the extra crunch of the nuts.
I love a little crunch in my salad too, Jennifer! 🙂
Allie | Baking a Moment says
Gorgeous! I love that you managed to create such a cheerful and colorful salad with seasonal veg and wintry flavors. Maple, Dijon, butternut, and pine nuts sounds TDF!!! Pinning 😉
Cheerful and colorful food seems to be all I’m craving lately—Seriously, I’m done with winter. LOL 😉 Thanks for the pin, Allie!