This festive (gluten free) Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with warm Buckwheat, Five-Spice Acorn Squash, Feta Cheese, and Pomegranate Seeds is full of healthy seasonal ingredients and a sweet tangy maple dijon dressing. Yum!
It is Christmas central over here in my little corner of New York City and I am 100% in the holiday spirit. My gifts are just about wrapped, our little apartment is WAY decked out, I have my favorite Christmas movies on loop, and I have been sipping my vegan turmeric eggnog like a boss!
The big prep work begins today for the cooking marathon that is Christmas Eve. Jordan and I cook a big portion of the meal for his very tiny 18+ person family. We have played with the menu a lot over the years, as the family has grown the food has become simpler and we have found that with 8 kids running around, a formal sit down dinner is no longer ideal. We have officially shifted to a more relaxed, eat all day, lots of platters of picky food, style. It’s kind of amazing and quite frankly I like it much better!
I was just scrolling through my Christmas book (a journal I keep of all the Christmas meals for the past 10 years) and chuckled at our menu from 2009. Jordan printed out an elegant menu for each place setting, just this detail now seems hilarious and a bit absurd. Then the food bit! Seriously what were we thinking?? We served a raw bar of about 75 oysters with various sauces, a smoked fish platter, a cheese and meat plate. and about 5 more appetizers AND THEN served the main event. The “main” event was 3 more courses, seriously! A soup course of triple cream shrimp bisque, a salad course of radicchio, mint, pecorino romano, and toasted hazelnuts, and 2 main options of linguini and clams casino and/or a whole roasted filet with pan seared asparagus. It was way over the top and amazing. This year will be just as amazing, but much, much, much more subdued.
This year there will be lots of cheese and meat plates, and mezze platters, and smoked fish (a family favorite on Christmas) and still some oysters (15 not 75!) and shrimp. Then for the main event, I’m making shepherd’s pie. I made this as a trial for the first time last year and it was a big hit. There are a lot of food allergies and dislikes in the family so I found that the shepherd’s pie was easy to adapt. I make individual servings in festive green and red ramekins and offer a vegan lentil version (yum!) and a grass-fed ground beef version with the creamiest herb mashed potatoes on top. (Any interest in those recipes? They would be great for New Years! Maybe I’ll post).
And I’d love to serve a big salad with it. What about this gorgeous salad?? I’m thinking it would be the perfect addition this year. I am in love love love with the combination of arugula and a warm grain. My clients pretty much all make my ultimate winter salad; arugula, brown rice, cabbage, apples, and hummus (seriously addictive!), and now this salad may just steal the crown and be deemed the new “ultimate” winter salad. As soon as you add warm grain to peppery greens you have a salad worthy of a chilly afternoon. Top that with spicy roasted acorn squash, feta cheese (obvs), and sweet crunchy pomegranate seeds, well hello perfect. Seriously perfect.
How absolutely perfect would this salad be on your holiday table!!! It’s gluten free, yes buckwheat is a gluten free grain even though it has “wheat” in its name (sneaky bugger), and can easily be made vegan by eliminating the feta cheese.
I tossed it with a maple Dijon dressing, but found that this salad needed very little dressing, the toppings are so full of flavor.
I sure hope you make some room on your holiday table for this beauty! Ok, my friends, I am off to do more Christmas. So much left to do, so little time, and so much joy that I practically jingle when I walk 🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼
Thanks for reading Abra’s Kitchen! To see what goodness I’m whipping up be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you make this recipe tag #abraskitchen on Instagram so I can see your creation 🙂
- 3 cups fresh arugula
- 1 cup cooked buckwheat (kasha)
- 1 five spice roasted acorn squash
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- 1½ tsp dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients, set aside
- On a large platter arrange arugula. Scatter on top warm buckwheat, roasted acorn squash, crumbled feta, and pomegranate seeds.
- Drizzle with dressing, serve immediately.
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