I am so excited that cookout season is here finally! Cold salads to serve alongside something on the grill lets me relax outside with a glass of something to sip beforehand, because the sides are prepared and marinating in the refrigerator.
Leafy green salads are great, but heartier salads to heap on your plate are filling and fun as well. I have a new recipe for you that is packed with vegetables and fruit with a sprinkling of crunchy pecans. You can make it up to two days in advance. It just gets better with time. One of the things I love about this salad is all the colors and the fresh tastes.
This is a robust side with healthy, grain free, nutrient rich carbohydrates. Here is what you will need!
Orange Apple Pecan Cookout Salad
Preheat the oven to 375º degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and prepare the Squash.
Place the squash cubes from below on the cookie sheet and toss with 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt and 1/4 Teaspoon of Black Pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until tender but still holding together. Try a piece to make sure it is how you like it. Then,
Ingredients for Salad:
1 Medium Butternut Squash, Peeled, Seeded and Cubed into 1 1/2 inch cubes
(Roast the Squash Above and Cool Slightly before making the Salad, Measure out 4 Cups of Squash and save any extra for another time.)
1 Can of Mandarin Oranges (I used Native Forest Brand in it’s own juice)
1 Apple, seeded and diced (I like Fuji, but you choose)
1/4 Cup Fruit Sweetened, Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Raw Pecans, Coarsely Chopped
2 Scallions, sliced
Ingredients for Dressing:
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons of Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Honey
1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
Directions: Whisk together your dressing and set aside. In a large bowl, add the prepared salad ingredients including the roasted squash cubes that have mostly cooled. Pour the dressing over the ingredients, and gently toss. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Place in the refrigerator two hours before serving to let the flavors meld.
This salad keeps well in the refrigerator. It is a delicious, filling, colorful salad that is packed with all those wonderful fruits and veggies to make us glow with health!