This salad is simple, yet the flavors go far beyond ordinary, everyday tossed greens. Substitute any type of winter squash (some will need peeling, depending on the thickness of the skin). We love arugula in this salad but choose your favorite assertive greens: escarole, endive or Japanese mizuna.
- 2 mini pumpkins
- Olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Maple syrup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 5 cups mixed greens, choose some with a peppery flavor such as arugula (see headnote)
- Candied walnuts or pecans (we find them packaged at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Slice the stem end off each pumpkin, then cut each pumpkin in half lengthwise, through the stem end. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp. Cut squash crosswise, into half rings. Place on a baking sheet, toss well with a small amount of oil to lightly coat. Sprinkle with cumin, coriander and a pinch each of salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven until tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, drizzle with a bit of syrup, toss with a spatula to mix and place back into the oven for a few minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Measure 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl, and whisk in the balsamic vinegar, plus a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place greens in a salad bowl and toss with dressing (use just enough to coat the leaves—refrigerate any leftovers). Divide between 4 plates. Top with roast squash, a handful of nuts (broken up) and a few tablespoons of pomegranate seeds.