Fruit in salad always feels sophisticated and special. And clever, even though it’s not exactly inventing the wheel. Here, pears, because they also have a very holiday vibe, and pomegranate, because ditto.
And cheese! I am always happy to see cheese in a salad, from feta in a Greek salad to goat cheese to ricotta salata. In this salad, we welcome lovely chunks of goat cheese. Add them at the end, and toss lightly, as if you toss them too early and/or vigorously they will blend into the salad, and not stay in distinct little creamy bites.
If you have leftover cooked squash from a previous meal, this is a great way to use it up. Just skip the squash roasting instructions below, and use what you have — obviously make sure the seasonings on the squash feel compatible with the other flavors in the salad.
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 4 cups peeled and sliced butternut squash (pieces about 1 x 2 inches, 1/4-inch thick)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 4 cups thinly sliced romaine
- 1 pear, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, then spread the squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss until the squash is evenly coated. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the squash is nicely browned in spots and very tender. Set aside to come to room temperature.
- Make the vinaigrette. In a small container, combine the shallots, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper. Shake to blend.
- Place the arugula and romaine in a large serving bowl. Add the pears and butternut squash, drizzle over the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add half the the goat cheese and half the pomegranate seeds and gently toss again. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and pomegranate seeds over the top and serve.
More Thanksgiving tips and recipes
- First course: Roasted butternut squash soup
- A Thanksgiving salad so good your family will ask for seconds
- Set the table early, and other pro tips for Thanksgiving hosts