Sunday, October 5, 2014

Arugula Salad with Avocado, Caramelized Squash & Pomegranate

I've never been one for CSAs personally, because I'm a bit of a control freak and don't do so well when presented with surprise ingredients. I had a Groupon-like discount for delivery of a large box of local organic fruits and vegetables, though, so I decided to step outside my comfort zone.

I still have to purpose the cabbage and parsnips, but today I put acorn squash to insanely delicious use. I've actually never cooked with this specific squash before, but I did a little online searches for ideas of the best way to prep it. I kept things simple by cooking it down in coconut oil with a little salt, pepper and a smidge of palm sugar to help it caramelize.

I then had to try my hardest to stop eating the squash right out of the pan while I prepared the rest of the salad!

Next time I think I will use bacon, but I had a little leftover roast chicken so added that for protein. I'm not including it in the ingredients because this one is very tasty without meat as well!

Pomegranate seeds and avocado added a little color and a nice contrast of textures. Since I went with the seeds I decided to make a pomegranate vinaigrette, which paired really nicely with all of the flavors. A basic balsamic vinaigrette would be tasty too though!

Arugula Salad with Avocado, Caramelized Squash & Pomegranate

1 large or two small acorn squash
2 tbs. coconut oil
salt & pepper
1 tsp. palm sugar
4 cups arugula
1/2 large avocado, sliced
3 tbs. raw pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbs. pomegranate seeds

3 tbs. pomegranate juice
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tbs. raw honey
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Slice acorn squash into 1/2 rings, then cut in half. Remove seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Add squash to coconut oil and cook for several minutes, flipping often. Once it's begun to brown a little bit add palm sugar and toss to coat. Continue to cook until squash is nicely caramelized. Remove from heat.

While squash is cooking, heat pecans in a skillet over low heat until toasted. Remove from heat and toss with cinnamon.

Put arugula in a large bowl and add avocado, pomegranate seeds and pecans. Add squash (I had a little squash left over; use as much of it as you want!).

To make dressing, whisk all ingredients together and taste for seasoning. Drizzle over salad (again, you will likely have extra you can use later).

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