roasted butternut and arugula salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

A perfect fall salad with a ton of flavor and will be stunning on the table for the holidays.

roasted butternut squash and arugula fall salad with pomegranate vinaigrette dressing

When I first moved to San Diego, my husband and I quickly realized that this place is just culturally… healthy. We hadn’t been super great at veggies and just plain lacked the creativity to know how to put them together well enough to enjoy them a lot.

My aunt, who is like my surrogate/adjunct mother here, has slowly taught me all the naughty ways that veggies can be ridiculously yum. We now roast veggies in the oven all the time, we throw them in the blender to grind them up and sautĂ© them with butter to make a “hash” that is killer… and occasionally I’ll get the hankering for a delicious salad. My aunt does salads like this. She was out of town when we tried this out and I had to call her and tell her I was “channelling my inner Mindy” to make it.

I made it for her on Sunday, and she approved. My first time making a vinaigrette was a success, and the pomegranate adds just the hint of sweet and tart that compliments the butternut so well. It’s just so pretty! Earlier in the week, as we sat down to think up meals, I asked husband what he thought and he said it sounded like something he’d eat, but after we made it, we sat and devoured it like we hadn’t eaten in weeks. A salad! I guess it’s safe to say that we have adopted the culture and we are happy about it.
roasted butternut squash and arugula salad with pomegranate vinaigrette dressing

The other thing my aunt taught me was how to plate a salad. So often we put salad in a huge bowl, where eventually all the heavy “goodies” fall to the bottom, or you have too many greens below and the goodies can’t get to them! It’s a problem. She plates them on a huge platter, as long as I’ve known her, she’s done this. It always looks pretty, and serves up better because everyone gets a piece of the good stuff.

roasted butternut squash and arugula salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

I’m sure you could swap out a few of these salad toppings for others, but we used goat cheese, craisins, and pomegranate vinaigrette for the tang, and the butternut and candied walnuts for a sweet. It’s like the perfect blend of sweet and tangy and I will need to make it a few times this fall!

roasted butternut squash and arugula salad with pomegranate vinaigrette dressing