Nothing about winter really screams “salad!” to me. At least, nothing about this toe- and finger- killing frigid winter, which, naturally, is why this post is devoted to salad.
One of the greatest things about being back in school is the time off. We got nearly 3.5 weeks off for winter break!! I flew back to northern California for a gloriously peaceful break at home where I did nothing except eat, sleep, rehab my ailing right knee, play too many games of Settlers with my cousins and develop an unfortunate affection for this show. All in all, an amazingly healing hibernation that allowed me to unwind, reflect, and plot out the coming year, which feels like a big one. Do you feel that?
All the eating of family-cooked meals and eating out dominated most of break, so I spent surprisingly little time cooking over break (not complaining). Except for Christmas dinner, when we had twenty-ish family members over and I made these rolls, this pie, this cake, these brussels sprouts and this salad (which explains the giant serving size). Then I made this salad again for a blogger potluck hosted by the lovely Alanna, where I promptly undid any good this salad might do you by eating all of her luscious banana cream tart (or maybe that was a dream…). It was such a fun event, where I got to meet the lovely and insanely talented bloggers Pang, Sarah, Ana and Lukas!
The point is, it’s been awhile since I’ve been really excited about a salad, but this one is current dream food: crunchy almonds, juicy pomegranate seeds, the sharp feta, creamy squash and citrusy dressing. This salad does make enough to feed a swamp monster (or, like, 20+ people as a side dish as demonstrated by Christmas), but all the toppings refrigerate well, so this doesn’t have to be reserved for a huge gathering–it makes for a great prep-ahead, eat-all-week type of meal.
Winter Harvest Salad
- For the salad:
- 1 medium butternut squash + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pomegranate
- 2-3 cups chopped broccoli
- organic mixed greens I used about 2 lbs for 2 giant salads
- toasted slivered or chopped almonds to taste
- feta cheese to taste
- For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- handful parsley
- salt and pepper
- For the salad:
- Peel and cube the butternut squash into 3/4" cubes, reserving the seeds for roasting if you like. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.
- Meanwhile, harvest the pomegranate arils (I highly recommend this method) and steam the broccoli: heat a pan over medium high heat with a little olive oil. Once hot, saute the broccoli for a minute, then add a few tablespoons of water, cover, and steam until tender (around 10 minutes). Set aside and let cool.
- Toast and chop almonds and crumble feta cheese, if needed.
- For the dressing:
- Blend the first three ingredients together in a small food processor or blender. Add the parsley, salt and pepper and pulse until incorporated.
- To assemble:
- Toss cooled vegetables, pomegranate seeds, almonds and feta with mixed greens. The toppings refrigerate well for a few days, so reserve half of everything if not serving a big crowd. Top with dressing to taste. Serve immediately!
This salad was SO SO SO good, Erika. I am glad you put the recipe on your blog + I LOVE your photos 🙂
By the way, Thank you SO MUCH for the mention, my lovely friend xoxo
P.S. I don’t know why I miss your post until now. I already subscribed!! I already subscribed!! I already subscribed!! 🙁
oooo….. so much squash love right here! i’m glad you’ve had some time off from school to relax and rest your knee. I’m going out to CA in May to see Sarah and Alanna, I can’t wait. Here’s to a bright end of January 🙂 xo
WHATTTTTT that’s awesome!!!!!!! Have a brilliant time in California–you couldn’t ask for two more awesome people to hang with 🙂 Hope all’s well with you, lovely! <3
Nothing about winter screams salad to me either, but I seem to crave them now. I’ll have to try yours!
Wowza, this salad looks so so so inviting! Yum!
Traci | Vanilla And Bean
What a beautiful, nourishing salad Erika! The flavors, colors and splash of honey in the dressing make it a recipe I’d love to dig into! I hope you’ve eased back into school okay from your time off. Thank you for sharing!
Shikha @ Shikha la mode
Sad I missed you on your California return! But good that you got to relax and have family time. I haven’t seen Cutthroat Kitchen but I am OBSESSED with Masterchef Juniors lollol. So addicting!!
Kaylie @ Skinny Muffin
This sounds so delicious! Ps. Back into blogging YAY! Sorry about your ailing knee. I will try to catch up on all the blog posts that I have missed, and hopefully I will see what happened with your knee. Glad you enjoyed your break! That is the ONE good thing about school – long winter and summer breaks!! YAY!
I love the sound of this salad – the perfect combination of flavours and textures and more than enough to keep you interested!
PS cutthroat kitchen = so addicting.
Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
I absolutely LOVED this salad. I’m a huge sucker for salads that have lots of different crunchy and soft textures, plus a balance of sweet, savory, and tart – this one has all of those things! I wish you had 3.5 weeks off more often. Next time you’re back here – we must have another gathering to cook! Also – these photos – I love how you arranged the colorful salad on the side of the plate – so pretty!
Hm, hopefully swamp monsters don’t like salad because I don’t think I’d wanna share!!! This looks glorious, so full of my favourite salad-y things (in particular the pomegranate arils, seeds and feta cheese). Fortunately for me, it’s flaming hot over here in Perth so I am feeling quite partial to giant salads, cold crisp cucumbers and refreshing green leaves. I definitely feel your pain re salad eating in the arctic tundra though, I think I’d be weeping in the corner with a giant cup of steaming almond milk right now (perhaps with some cacao and a giant homemade marshmallow… actually, that doesn’t sound so bad!). Stay warm, lovely!! Glad that you had an awesome festive season! But, for the record, I am ridiculously envious of those bloggers who got to catch up with you. Sigh. Why wasn’t it ME?! 😉
susan @ the wimpy vegetarian
this is a perfect salad for winter! I almost always have roasted cubes of butternut for salads, grains or lentil dishes. And lemon, honey and olive oil make the ideal dressing – especially in winter!
Nora (A Clean Bake)
The colors! The flavors! The textures!!! I love the combination of ingredients in this salad and I am sort of salivating a little more than I should right now. I want this!
Man! I never remember to add broccoli to my salads! Love it. I am a fan of always adding parsley to my vinaigrettes though 🙂 This sounds right up my alley! So glad you enjoyed a wonderful, rejuvenating holiday and time off!
Katie (The Muffin Myth)
Such a lovely salad, Erika! I love roasting up a big butternut squash and having it on hand in the fridge to toss in with salads and the like. Now I just need to get my hands on some pomegranate and feta!
Thanks so much Katie, and for the twitter shout out!! <33 Butternut squash is possibly my favorite winter vegetable--I just wish it wasn't such a handle to chop and peel! Happy salad eating 🙂
Natasha @ The Cake Merchant
Oddly enough, I really crave salads in the winter. This one looks perfect for the season, and your photos are gorgeous! And I love the idea of a food blogger potluck. We need to have one in Texas!
Um can you share your rockstar tastebuds with me? I WISH I craved salads!! Thanks so much for the kind words, as always, and YES a Texas food blogger potluck would be so fun!! A few bloggers just started a Houston food blogging group and I’ll suggest the idea of a potluck to them. If it comes to fruition, I’ll definition invite you!!
Choc Chip Uru
WOO enjoy the time off 😀
This salad is the perfect way to enjoy a leisurely time!
Choc Chip Uru
I just loved this salad…. So much texture and juiciness—and so vibrant, so good!
Aww thanks Lukas!! You’re so sweet! <3
Christina @ The Beautiful Balance
Lemon juice, olive oil, and honey is my go-to dressing. Love all these winter flavors mixed together. I have to constantly remind myself to consume as many greens as possible because all I really want is a big warm bowl of soup every single meal of the day! Pinning now 🙂
So good right?! It’s such a nice change up from balsamic vinegar as the acid. And I so agree about the constant soup cravings–that’s exactly why it’s so hard for me to eat salads right now. Thanks Christina! <3
Sam @ PancakeWarriors
love the colors and the textures in this salad. I’m pretty obsessed with pomegranate right now so this would be perfect. Thanks for sharing
Thanks so much Sam! I totally share your obsession with pomegranates!! What else do you like using the arils in?
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Mmm this salad looks awesome!! Definitely digging that dressing 🙂