Do you have a favorite salad? We know it’s a bit of an unusual question, particularly because most people probably aren’t big fans of salad in general. Although we all want to eat more healthily, it can be hard to consistently make veggie-heavy meals that are both delicious and nutritious. If you do have a favorite salad, it’s probably not a plain one consisting only of leafy greens, basic vegetables and boring dressing, right?
If we ever truly look forward to salad, it’s a special salad with plenty of interesting ingredients working well together, maybe from our favorite restaurant. When it comes to the ones we make at home though, we never seem to put as much effort in—or we simply don’t know what to put together. That’s why we’re bringing you a truly unique and refreshing salad recipe today which is perfect during the spring and summertime. It’s healthy, packed with flavor and uses some ingredients you may not be as used to. So let’s get started!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 bunches of arugula or mixed greens
- 2 1/2 cups of butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 1/4 cups of crumbled feta
- 5 pre-cooked beets, peeled and chopped
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 pint of cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive-oil (plus two additional tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
- aluminum foil
Here’s what you do:
1. To start, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees and begin preparing your cooked ingredients. If you haven’t already, take your butternut squash and get it peeled and diced into roughly inch-sized cubes. Throw the cubes in a bowl or a bag and toss them with two tablespoons of olive oil as well as a generous amount of salt and pepper.
2. Once the cubes are seasoned, spread them on a foil-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Make sure the oven is hot enough to continue and then bake your cubes for 45 to 50 minutes (until the pieces are fork-tender).
3. Next, put the cooked butternut cubes in a large serving bowl and add in your chopped beets, arugula and halved tomatoes. Throw in your chickpeas and crumbled feta at this stage as well.
4. Meanwhile, get a small bowl or glass and pour in your olive oil and orange juice. Whisk the two together well and drizzle the liquid into the large mixing bowl, tossing the salad to make sure everything is evenly coated.
5. Finally, give your salad a taste and add additional salt and pepper as necessary. Once you’re ready, serve it immediately!
Though you may not be used to cooking with squash or beets, the combination of all these ingredients works perfectly together! The orange juice dressing helps give everything a lightness that plays off the earthiness of the beats and the creaminess of the squash and chickpeas. While many salad recipes only become delicious when they’re drowned in dressing and less-healthy add-ins like bacon or hard-boiled eggs, this one offers a full bouquet of flavors while still staying diet-friendly. Give this one a try at your next cookout!
Have you made this salad yet? Leave us a comment and tell us how it went!
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Source: 12 Tomatoes