This festive salad is perfect for any winter or fall gathering. While the final product is delicious, I call this the “1-hour salad” because it takes longer to prepare than your typical lettuce, tomato, and cucumber salad due to the scratch dressing and roasted potatoes and squash. If you’ve got the time though, it is definitely worth the effort.
The recipe below is based on one I found here. Feel free to use the original, but when I made this I subbed out a few ingredients because I either couldn’t find them (champagne vinegar) or preferred the alternative (spinach vs. arugula) and also used several different kinds of potatoes to add color.
1 1/2 lb small potatoes (I choose a combination of red, yukon gold, and purple)
Olive oil as needed
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 small to medium delicata squash
2 tbsp minced shallot
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
10 cups of spinach
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
Grated parmesan cheese as needed (1/2 cup to 1 cup)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Then slice your potatoes into 1/4 inch rounds and mound them on a baking sheet. Toss them with olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes until tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, prep your squash by cutting them in half lengthwise and removing the seeds and strings. You do not need to peel them before you slice them into 1/4 inch half moons. Transfer them to a bowl and toss them in olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange your half moons on them in a single layer.
Once the potatoes are done, remove them and place your squash into the middle oven racks. After 10-12 minutes rotate the pans and at 20-25 minutes they should be just tender and starting to brown. When cool enough to handle, carefully peel them off the parchment since they sometimes stick. Allow both potatoes and squash to cool to room temperature.
Prepare the dressing in a small bowl by combining the shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, and 1/8 tsp salt. Whisk to blend and then slowly add up to 1/2 cup of olive oil. I try to skimp to keep the dressing from being overly oily.
Just before serving, toss the potatoes and squash with 1/2 of the dressing. For best presentation start with a large bowl and add your spinach, potatoes, and squash. Top with half the pomegranate seeds, cheese, and the rest of the dressing. Toss thoroughly and then sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and pomegranate seeds.