A cool-weather salad filled with roasted delicata squash, persimmons and pomegranate that’s brimming with bright flavors and colors.
While this time of the year warm soups and hearty casseroles often steal the spotlight, I think that a substantial salad brimming with seasonal favorites like squash and hearty greens has its place at the dinner table as well. One with body and heft, that’s loaded with colors and big, bright flavors ranging from sweet to tart, especially when a nice, zippy vinaigrette is involved.
Of course the possible variations are countless but I’m quite partial to this delicata squash salad loaded with persimmons and pomegranate seeds. It‘s a wonderful mix of sweet, tart, crunchy and creamy all in beautiful shades of gold, red and green.
On a holiday table filled with rich dishes, its clean flavors cuts through the heaviness of the meal. Think of it as a palate cleanser of sorts. That’s not to say that it isn’t perfectly suited for an everyday meal.
The process starts by roasting slices of delicata squash, which by the way is a breeze to prepare thanks to its thin skin which means there’s no need to peel it. While that’s in the oven you just whisk together a sweet and tangy vinaigrette made with pomegranate molasses and Dijon mustard.
The Dijon mustard adds a nice little kick to the mix while the pomegranate molasses is tart and refreshing. The full-flavored vinaigrette pairs well with the more subdued creamy flavor of the roasted squash while complementing the sweetness of the persimmon. (If you can’t get your hands on persimmons, slices of apples or pears would be nice too). Pomegranate arils add a pop of color and toasted almonds that essential crunch. Feel free to add a few shavings of Pecorino or feta for an extra layer of saltiness, but the salad has a lot going for it on its own already so that’s entirely optional and up to your discretion.
What are your favorite kinds of salads to eat in the fall and winter?
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