Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Creamy Maple Dressing
If you find most winter squash varietals to be difficult to work with, you will discover a hero in tender delicata squash. The skin is soft and edible, and the seeds easily scoop from the flesh, making it a superior squash for busy weeknights when you just cannot bother with tedious prep work. Roasted delicata squash is sweet, nutty, and impressively versatile. It shines in this seasonal fall salad recipe tossed with quinoa, vegetables, and pepitas, then drizzled with a sweet and creamy maple vinaigrette.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse the delicata squash. Trim the ends, the slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds using a spoon or melon baller. Slice the squash halves into 1/2" thick half moons.
Place the sliced squash into a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss until each piece of squash is evenly coated with olive oil.
Place the squash onto the prepare baking sheet. Spread the pieces evenly so that none are touching, ensuring each piece is laying flat.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the squash for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, flip over each piece of squash using tongs or a fork, and return to the oven. Roast an additional 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces, until the flesh is soft and charred.
Place the quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and rinse throughly under cool running water. Place the rinsed quinoa into a small sauce pot along with the water or broth and a pinch of salt. Heat over medium high heat until the water boils, the reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Keep the quinoa covered and rest for an additional 5 minutes.
Make the maple dressing. Place the olive oil, greek yogurt, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and salt into a bowl and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
Place the cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Add the arugula, red onion, pepitas, and pomegranate seeds. Pour half the dressing over the salad base and toss until thoroughly combined.
Dive the quinoa and arugula salad base between four salad plates. Top with one quarter of the delicata squash and serve with additional dressing on the side. Serve immediately.
Make this faster by using 1-1.5 cups of pre-cooked quinoa in lieu of cooking quinoa from scratch.