Warm Autumn Salad
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), (or pre-chopped fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 teaspoons curry powder (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
¾ cup uncooked pearled barley
1 pound fresh spinach, arugula, kale, or other green of your choice (washed and dried)
1 can Cannellini beans (or other white bean) drained and rinsed
¼ cup apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
- Using a peeler, remove the tough skin from the squash. Divide butternut squash in half, separating the neck from the bulb. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds from bulb end. Cut each piece into about 1” chunks.
- Place squash chunks in a mixing bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon canola oil, curry powder, salt and pepper. Transfer chunks to lined sheet pan and place in oven. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Add onions to squash and toss well. Continue cooking until squash and onions are tender and squash is beginning to brown slightly.
- While squash is cooking, cook barley by combining barley and 2 ¾ cup water with a pinch of salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- On a large platter or 6 individual plates, layer the fresh greens, cooked barley, roasted squash and onion, and white beans. Drizzle with vinegar and oil then top with walnuts and cranberries. Serve immediately.
Additions and substitutions: This entrée salad is also delicious with other types of winter squash or even sweet potatoes. Use white, yellow or red onion. Try other types of grains instead of barley including quinoa, brown rice, or bulgur wheat. Also experiment with your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and beans!
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