I don’t know about you guys but, I’m feeling heavy, full, over comforted. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can get to be too much. Our Arctic blast here in Colorado, left the State with below freezing, negative digit temperatures. Oh, it was cold, very cold. We were waking up to -11℉ (-24℃) and it was only warming up to like 3℉. It was pretty insane. I know there are colder places on this Earth but when you’re used to the sun shining and pretty nice temperatures even during winter, it’s a bit of a shock!
Of course, salad was not on the menu. Our bodies were rebelling against everything cold and so, I was making a lot of carb laden, warming foods. Most of the time it was spicy Indian curries so the spices would warm us up or stew and chilli like dinners.
Finally, our temperature is back into the double digits and we’re enjoying a balmy 34℉ (1℃) these days. After 10 days of over whelming, heavy foods, I made a refreshingly light dinner the other night. It still had some carbs to fuel us and spices to keep us warm, but it was a nice, light variation.
I don’t know if it was the change of pace or the fact that it really was good, but I really enjoyed every bite of my Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Salad. It was incredibly delicious, spicy and filling. The vegetables were roasted with the Moroccan spice mix; Ras el Hanout, Harissa and olive oil. The smell of the vegetables roasting gave me a great preview of what I was to enjoy. They smelled heavenly.
A generous handful of pomegranate arils, some salad leaves and a drizzle of Harissa vinaigrette completed the salad. To boost up the protein, I did serve ours with some baked chicken breast and a fried egg on top. Let me tell you, the fried egg; great addition. I enjoyed that better than the chicken. So this salad is versatile enough to be vegan, vegetarian or non vegetarian. I liked all the variations; and don’t forget the pomegranate, it adds amazing texture and fresh flavour with the spicy roasted squash and sweet potatoes.
I am sure this can be made with different winter squash and sweet potatoes. I wanted the deep, golden, colour of the butternut with the white, sweet potatoes. All I can say is that you must make this salad, especially with the Moroccan spices. I can’t emphasise how great it is, and if you are a winter squash lover, you will be in heaven.
Serves: 6 servings
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced, medium chunks
- 3 or 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced, medium chunks
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout spice mix
- 2 tablespoons Harissa, homemade or store bought
- salt and pepper
- 1 pomegranate, peeled and deseeded
- 12 cups salad leaves, I used a spring mix
- 6 eggs, organic, fried or poached, optional
- Harissa Vinaigrette
- Preheat the oven to 400℉/200℃.
- Mix the extra virgin olive oil, harissa and Ras el Hanout together in a large bowl.
- Toss in the cubed butternut squash and sweet potatoes and mix around till well coated.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Spread out onto a baking sheet and place in the oven.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes until soft and golden brown.
- On individual serving plates, add about 2 cups of salad leaves.
- Place the roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes on top.
- Add the fried or poached egg on top and scatter the pomegranate arils over the plate.
- Drizzle with the harissa vinaigrette.
Hope everyone is keeping warm, or cool for those of you who are in the Southern Hemisphere. Christmas is just around the corner, have you all done your Christmas shopping? I know the baking is coming along since I see such wonderful confections everyday. Have a great rest of the week and weekend! Happy baking!