Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Salad
If this Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Salad doesn’t scream fall I don’t know what does. This is the quintessential fall salad and I couldn’t love it more!
I am welcoming November with open arms. I know I fall in the minority that welcomes winter with a happy dance but a happy dance I am doing! Our local mountains (hopefully) open this month and I can not wait to get my butt on the mountain and do some snowboarding!! Who’s with me?
You know what else I’m excited for? DAY LIGHT SAVINGS. For reals. It’s been a struggle with a capital S to get my kids up for school the past month. Hell, I’m having a hard time getting up. As much as I hate to lose the light in the evening, I’d way rather have the extra light in the morning!
November also means we wrap up fall sports. We get to take a breather and our evenings become ours again. I foresee more home cooked meals, less fighting over getting homework done, and lots of couch time watching family shows after dinner!
This time of year I start to crave heartier, more warming foods. Not to say I want to eat heavier, just heartier. I’ve been stocking up on winter squash at the farmers market and have been roasting it, making soups, and I even made a butternut squash lasagna last week.
Without a doubt, my favorite way to eat winter squash is simply roasted. I love the sweet, caramel-y notes that roasting brings out. This salad is highlights the simple roasting beautifully. It is absolute perfection if I do say so myself. The salad is sweet, savory, fresh, filling, and the quintessential autumn salad.
Happy almost November to all of you- let’s just get Halloween done and over with, ok? I hope that it finds you as excited as I am about the upcoming winter and slowing the eff down. I can’t wait to wake up and have it light out and hunker down after dinner and take advantage of the darker evenings. Happy cooking and thanks for reading! xo, Kelley
photos by Kellie Hatcher/ recipe by Mountain Mama CooksPrint
A delicious fall inspired salad with roast butternut squash, wild rice, and fresh herbs!
For the vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
- zest from one orange
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
For the squash:
- 1 lb cubed butternut squash (this is @ one small butternut squash that has been peeled, seeded and cubed)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the salad:
- 1 1/2 cups COOKED wild rice
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- THIS RECIPE CALLS FOR COOKED RICE. Prepare enough wild rice to equal 1 1/2 cups cooked rice. Set aside to cool. (I used leftover wild rice from a previous diner.)
- Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
- Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients expect the olive oil in a in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or a nonstick baking mat. Season the butternut squash with olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, and salt; toss to combine. Make sure squash is evenly distributed on the baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes or until squash is cooked through and is golden in color. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
- Add cooled squash, cooked rice, dried cherries, chopped dill and parsley, feta cheese, and pecans to a large bowl. Salad can be prepared ahead to this point!
- When ready to serve, toss with desired amount of dressing. You will use about 3/4 of the dressing….maybe all of it….it’s up to you! Add pecans just before serving so they don’t get soggy. Enjoy!!