Arugula Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette

vegan-salad-squash

A friend of mine shared this recipe with me and IT IS HEAVENLY!  I substituted the brown sugar for coconut sugar, and was still able to caramelize the acorn squash.  Pomegranates were scarce, but I was able to find frozen seeds and bottled juice.  Be careful when adding the dressing, a little goes a long way… you don’t need to use all of it!  This is a guest worthy salad you will really enjoy!

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1 organic acorn squash, sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds and seeds removed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon organic pepper
2 teaspoons organic coconut sugar
1/2 cup organic whole pecans, chopped
1/4 teaspoon organic pumpkin pie spice
6 cups organic baby arugula
1 avocado, sliced
1 pomegranate, arils removed (or use organic frozen pomegranate seeds)
1 organic cucumber, peeled and sliced

Pomegranate ginger vinaigrette
1/3 cup organic pomegranate juice (bottled works as well)
1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon organic ginger, peeled and grated
1 organic garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon organic pepper
1/3 cup organic olive oil
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil.  Cover the squash slices with salt, pepper, and coconut sugar, then add them to the skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side.  Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the pecans.  Toast until they are slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking the pan as they toast, for about 5 minutes.  Toss them with the pumpkin pie spice.
Add the arugula to a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add in the avocado, pomegranate arils, cucumber, pecans and squash pieces.  Cover in the pomegranate dressing.

Pomegranate ginger vinaigrette dressing
Combine pome juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together.  Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Original recipe found here:
http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/10/autumn-arugula-salad/

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