Friends, can you believe it? Counting today, there are only four days left in 2016!
Overall, I think a huge positive of this year is that I learned a lot about empowerment. Being with the people I love, eating delicious food, and exploring the world around me make me feel energized and alive. In 2017, I hope to dive deeper into the activities and people that make life incredible (if you want more of this cheesy sentiment, watch this adorable video!). Is there something that makes you feel this way?
Being home for the holidays means having a decent amount of down time. I decided to whip up both lunch and dinner for my family, and chose to combine two of my favorite ingredients – arugula and butternut squash – into a salad! (dinner was Thai curry which I did not photograph)
The recipe I used is from Ina Garten/the Food Network – I followed it almost exactly, except:
- I used white wine vinegar because we didn’t have any apple cider vinegar
- Pecans replaced the walnuts, again because we didn’t have any
- And, I skipped the craisins altogether….because once again we had none, sadly. I have made this recipe before and the craisins do add a lot, so I would recommend including them for both a pop of color and some extra tart/sweetness!
The steps are pretty straightforward:
- Cut the squash into cubes and take out the seeds/stringy bits.
- Wash the arugula.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay squash cubes on a sheet pan and top with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is soft enough to easily depress with a fork. Add craisins in the last 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start heading the cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan/pot. Make sure you turn on the vent, or else your house will smell like boiling vinegar!
- Pop the nuts into a toaster to bring out their flavor and shred the parmesan if it isn’t already – the bigger the chunks the better, I think 🙂
- Once the cider mixture is reduced to about 1/4-1/3 cup, add the dijon mustard and olive oil off the heat and whisk together. Separation is to be expected in this dressing!
- That’s it! Mix everything together and serve!
Before making this dish, I had never made my own salad dressing before! It was surprisingly easy to make a healthy and tasty dressing for this recipe, so I hope to explore more home-made dressings in the future.
I love how the nuttiness of the arugula, walnuts, and parmesan compliment the subtle sweetness of the dressing and squash in this quick and aesthetic recipe.
Hope you enjoy! Have a very happy New Year all ❤