Last week marked the official start of the fall season, and it’s a great time of year to take advantage of the sweetness that root vegetables have to offer. One of my favorite foods in season this fall/winter is butternut squash. They are versatile, have tons of flavor, and are a comforting choice any time of the day. When you cook root vegetables (for ex., carrots, squashes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and rutabagas), they become soft and sweet. Therefore, they are the perfect healthy food to eat when you’re craving sweets! Try including root vegetables in your daily diet and see if it makes a difference in your sweet cravings. It worked for me.
Here’s a fall salad recipe that’s bursting with flavor. It’s a little savory and a little sweet. My favorite flavor combination.
Butternut Squash & Pecan Salad
(makes a big family size portion)
1 butternut squash
1 cup toasted pecans
Baby arugula (4-5 big handfuls)
5 fresh sage leaves, chopped up
1 tsp dried sage
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
Salt & black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
Cut the butternut squash up into small bite-sized pieces (removing the hard outer skin). Spread the squash out on a sheet pan, drizzle the olive oil on top and sprinkle with dried sage, and a little salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning the squash half-way through cooking. Remove the squash from the oven and drizzle the honey on top when it’s still warm. Put the squash in a bowl and toss with the toasted pecans. Sprinkle the fresh sage on top and set aside.
To make the dressing, put the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and pepper in a small bowl and mix well with a wire whisk. Set aside.
Spread the arugula leaves out on a big plate and top with the squash and pecan mixture. Serve the dressing on the side to avoid drowning the arugula leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.