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January 2010
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Warm Butternut Squash over Spinach Salad

Who says a salad can’t be warm and satisfying?  Me.  All the time…except right now, because this one totally was, and I’d make it on any cold blustery winter night.  Or a cold lunchtime…

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I started out by roasting half an acorn squash in the oven.  Stick a pat of Earth Balance in the middle along with a generous grind of salt and pepper and sprinkling of herbs de Provence.  Flip the squash over onto a greased baking dish (be sure the spices stay inside) and bake for 30 minutes at 400F.  It helps to poke some holes in the squash with a knife too, although I forgot this time around and nothing exploded in my oven.  So that was good.  In the meantime, you can prepare your salad, and don’t feel like you have to use the same ingredients I did, this is just what I had on hands.

2 handfuls baby spinach
1 carrot, chopped on an angle
3 stalks celery, also cut on an angle
1 apple, medium to small dice
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbs Olive Oil
2 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tbs zataar
S+P to taste

Directions
1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, and add the walnuts, celery, carrots, and apple. Stir to coat and cook for 4-5 minutes before adding peas and spinach, and turning off the heat. (If you’re using still frozen peas you may want to add them earlier.
2. Stir to combine, and while the spinach is wilting down a bit, combine vinegar, oil, zataar, S+P to dress. Drizzle dressing over skillet and toss again.

‘Warm’ salad is a really weird concept to me, but it really did work, and it is something I’ll be doing again.  I’ve also heard that you actually have to cook spinach to get the most nutrients out of it, which is sad, because I really like raw spinach salads and go through about a bag a week, and I don’t like to think that they aren’t doing much for me.  I’m not going to start cooking ALL my salads.  This was a start though…and a good one.

Selah.

2 comments to Warm Butternut Squash over Spinach Salad

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