Today we are celebrating fall with this roasted acorn squash salad. As we have been living in the Caribbean close to four years, it has been a long time since I have experienced autumn. Needless to say, I miss it immensely.
But things in our life are changing and I am excited to share two big news with you today.
The first one is bittersweet. It is hard to believe, but our time here in the British Virgin Islands is coming to an end. During our more than three and a half years on Virgin Gorda, we have made great memories and wonderful friendships all in while living on one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
Sadly, all of that will be a thing of the past as of October 23rd, 2015. Though leaving our friends behind will be very hard, we are excited for this next chapter of our lives. Initially, we’ll take a break for the holidays and spend sometime with family in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Then who knows where Dwight’s career will take us. It is all a surprise and we can’t be more thrilled to see what the future has in store for us.
When I think about the second news, my heart literally starts beating faster out of excitement. I will be joining Eva (of Adventures in Cooking), Carey , and Lauren and Jake Brown for a Food Styling + Photography + Craft Cocktail Workshop this coming January down here in the British Virgin Islands. As a huge fan of both Eva and Carey’s work, I was so happy when they invited me to be a part of this workshop. The 4-day workshop will be held on Tortola, in a big house with a huge kitchen and a gorgeous pool overlooking the Caribbean Ocean and nearby islands.
The itinerary is full of fun activities like learning to mix refreshing tiki cocktails, visiting Good Moon Farm and creating cocktails from local produce all while learning food styling and photography from Eva and Carey. On one of those days, we will also pay a visit to our beautiful Virgin Gorda, where we’ll explore some of the most popular destinations like The Baths, Saba Rock, Hog Heaven, and beaches like Spring Bay, Savannah Bay, and Mahoe Bay. If you are interested in learning about food photography and styling, we would love to have you join us for this awesome workshop. You can find more information and register through their website First We Eat.
Needless to say, this year I am looking forward to experiencing fall with chilly morning walks, pumpkin spice lattes, family dinners, weekend farm visits, and cooking with autumn vegetables and fruits. However, until we make it to Philadelphia I will be posting less frequently as we recently started packing all my props and cooking equipment. As you can imagine, moving internationally (especially from an island) is a lot of work.
About The Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Spicy Pepitas and Cranberries Recipe:
The main character of this salad is acorn squash. I love its sweet flavor especially after it is roasted and mixed with other fall ingredients. Making it is quite easy. First, roast the sliced acorn squash in a 400 F degree oven. While that’s happening, cook some farro, and rinse some salad greens and arugula.
To assemble, mix the greens with powerful flavor agents like goat cheese, lime & cayenne flavored pepitas, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. Stir in the farro. Create a bed of the mixture in a large salad plate and top it off with the roasted acorn squash.
Finally, drizzle the salad with a simple homemade vinaigrette. I personally thought that it was a perfect meal just by itself, but you could certainly serve it as a side dish with any of your favorite main dishes.
Other Acorn Squash Recipes You Might Like
- Roasted Kabocha Squash with Sesame Seeds
- Herbed Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Butternut Squash and Cranberry Jam
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
- Dominican-Style Pumpkin-Ginger Soup
- Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Spicy Pepitas and Cranberries
Roasted Acorn Squash:
- 2 acorn squash sliced to 1-inch thick slices (or 1 large)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- 1/2 cup pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- black pepper freshly ground
- 2-3 cups arugula leaves washed and spin-dried
- 2 cups leafy salad greens washed and spin-dried
- 1 cup cooked farro or wheat berries or bulgur or spelt berries
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Handful of pomegranate seeds
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place acorn squash slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, turning them and rotating the sheet halfway through the process. Set aside.
- Turn down the heat of the oven to 300 degrees. Mix the pepitas with lime juice, cayenne pepper, and salt. Spread them onto a small baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes. Make sure to stir them half way through the roasting process. Set aside to cool.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- To assemble the salad, place arugula and salad greens in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the spicy pepitas, farro (or whatever grain you have on hand), cranberries, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle it with 3/4 of the salad dressing. Gently toss everything to make sure that all the green leaves are coated with the dressing.
- Transfer the salad onto a large serving plate. Place the slices of roasted acorn squash on top as seen in the photo. Spoon the rest of the salad dressing over the acorn squash slices.
- Top it off with chunks of goat cheese. Serve immediately.
The recipe for the Spicy Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) comes from Amy Chaplin’s cookbook: At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen.