Beet and Butternut Squash Salad
I was always concerned about the high sugar content of beets until I learned that they have the ability to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, detoxify your liver and ward off cancer, while adding fiber to your diet. These benefits, plus great flavor, are all the reasons you need to add beets to your diet all year round. This is a vibrant salad, whether served in a large bowl or plated.
- 3 medium red beets
- 3 medium golden beets
- 2 cups diced butternut squash, 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces (about 6 cups) arugula leaves
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate), for garnish
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice (from zested orange)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the beets, then rinse, dry and wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place the beets on one side of a jelly roll or roasting pan. Place the butternut squash cubes on the other side of the pan, drizzle them with the oil, and toss to coat.
- Bake the beets and squash for 20 minutes, or until the squash cubes are fork-tender. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the roasted squash cubes to a medium bowl to cool. Return the beets to the oven and roast for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the center of the beets can be pierced with a fork. Let cool on the pan for 30 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
- Place the arugula leaves in a large serving bowl and toss with the cilantro. Add the butternut squash cubes.
- To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, balsamic vinegar, orange zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste until combined. Taste to see if more salt or black pepper is needed. When the beets are cool, put on gloves and unwrap the golden beets first. You will be able to slide the peels off them. Cut the golden beets into 1- to 1½-inch cubes and scatter them over the greens. Unwrap the red beets, remove the peels and cut into the 1- to 1½-inch cubes; scatter them over the salad. Whisk the dressing again, drizzle over the salad, and toss. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top.
- Recipe reprinted with permission from The New Passover Menu by Paula Shoyer (Sterling Publishing, 2015). Photo by Michael Bennett Kress.