Warm Butternut Squash And Spinach Salad

I’m not much of a salad maker. Every time I eat a nice salad I always think I should make them more, but ultimately, I prefer to put the effort into a hot meal, and just shove some rocket or mixed salad leaves into my mouth. Sometimes, though, I put some effort in, especially when the salad can be a whole meal. This is especially true of “warm” salads like this one (just add a protein source and voila!). Warm salads are also perfect for winter and autumn, and this one is particularly autumnal; I first made it a few months ago and rediscovered the joys of it’s flavours the other day.

Squash is full of nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Pumpkin seeds are particularly high in magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper. A lot of these nutrients are vital for immune function (vey relevant at these times), and hard to get elsewhere (especially magnesium and zinc). Ultimately this salad as is easy to make and delicious!

1 whole butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 bag washed spinach
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
1T balsamic vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic
Handful of pumpkin seeds

1) Spread the squash onto a baking sheet with the garlic cloves, and drizzle over a good glug of olive oil. Bake for about 45 mins at 180C
2) For the last ten mins in the oven, roast the pumpkin seeds on a seperate tray
3) In the meantime, mix 1 T olive oil and 1T balsamic vinegar
4) Place spinach and red onion in a large bowl
5) When the squash is done, put that in the bowl while still hot. The heat will wilt the spinach leaves
6) Squeeze the garlic cloves into the dressing, along with some salt and mix well
7) Pour the dressing over the squash, spinach and onion and mix thoroughly
8) Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve

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