I love hearty salads in the winter, with some warm element like roasted squash or hot cooked grains. Bright rainbow colors of raw veggies and fruits are a welcome sight on our winter table and help us get all those much needed immune supporting vitamins and minerals in our system during cold and flu season. Roasted spiced chickpea croutons add a nice crunch and along with protein packed hemp seeds (wonderful little things!) make this salad filling enough for a meal in itself, which is how we went about it.
Iley loved the rainbow of colors in this meal and he was so sweet when he said, while I was shooting this recipe, “I love your rainbow food, mom” in his sweet little voice. First, we eat with our eyes, and eating the rainbow is not only beautiful but ensures you are getting all those nutrients and vitamins in your meals.
Winter Rainbow Salad Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash
I've detailed how to make this exact recipe, but you can use this as more of a guide. Use other squashes if you want or if you have them in your kitchen already. Swap out the greens and herbs with any other types. Use other fruits like fresh berries or mango. Don't have hemp seeds, how about sunflower seeds or chopped nuts? With salads the options are endless. I would only say to make sure you get a variety of colors in your choices to make it a rainbow salad. I don't think you can go wrong here. Happy rainbow eating friends!
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- pinch salt and pepper
Roasted Chickpea Croutons
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- salt and pepper to taste
Winter Rainbow Salad
- 4 oz baby arugula leaves
- 1 small head of raddichio
- handful of fresh cilantro leaves
- handful of fresh parsley leaves
- 2 scallions
- 1/2 of an english cucumber
- 2 blood oranges or cara cara oranges
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
Blood Orange Tahini Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons reserved blood orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rocket cider or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon capers
- pinch of oregano
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and prick thick parts of flesh with a fork. Brush cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake squash cut side up on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes until fork tender and slightly browned.
- Scoop out some of the flesh at the thicker part of squash to make a bowl for the salad to fit into. Save the squash you removed for another use or cut it up and add to the salad.
Prepare Chickpea Croutons:
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until chickpeas are evenly coated. Spread chickpeas out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes for softer chickpeas or 15-20 minutes for crunchier chickpeas, stirring them around halfway through the bake. You can bake them while the squash is baking. Remove from oven and set aside when they are done to your liking.
- Wash greens, veggies and fruits. Dry arugula and herbs well and place leaves in a large salad bowl. Cut raddichio in half and cut out the hard center. Chop radicchio into small strips and add them to the bowl. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and then cut each half again lengthwise. Then slice across to get small 1/4 circle sized pieces and add them to the bowl. Chop the scallions into tiny rings and add to bowl.
- Supreme the oranges by cutting off the rinds and cutting out the segments, leaving the pith behind. Do this over a bowl to catch the juices. Squeeze out the juice from the remains to use in the vinaigrette. Set oranges aside so you can place them on top of salad. Drain off the juice and reserve.
- Toss the salad fixings in the bowl with enough vinaigrette so that the greens are evenly coated. Reserve some of the vinaigrette to drizzle on top.
- Stuff salad into the roasted squash. Top with the chickpeas, blood oranges, pomegranate and hemp seeds. Drizzle with some more vinaigrette.
- Add all ingredients to a mason jar. Tighten lid and shake until emulsified.
This makes more salad than will fit into the squash. So you can serve more salad on the side of the squash too. Or adjust the amount of salad to your liking.
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Handmade board and scoop used in this post by Sweet Gum Co.