I’m in love with Trader Joe’s salads and enjoy recreating them at home (see Red Quinoa, Couscous and Arugula Salad) since my Trader Joe’s is located a good 30 minutes away from me. Oh I wish for one closer to home! Maybe 2015 will bring my wish to fruition. Be this as it may, I’m happy to report that I’ve reinvented the Greens and Seeds Salad with it’s creative combination that excites me every time I eat it. Although Trader Joe’s touts it’s salads as super nutritious, this one brings a slew of antioxidant-rich ingredients together in one wholey-moley delicious mass.
It starts with lovely mixed greens topped with roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. It seems like a lot of work to roast butternut squash just for this salad, so when I’ve got the time or have roasted vegetables for another recipe like the Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, I’ll save a cup full for this salad. Also, if I don’t have pumpkin seeds around which is not likely since I use them for The Best Homemade Granola Ever, then I’ll use toasted pistachio nuts – a worthy substitution. As for the dressing, it’s a tweak of my favorite salad dressing base: olive oil, garlic, sea salt, Herbes de Provence seasoning, agave nectar, Dijon mustard and then either lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or in this case a true balsamic vinegar (look for grape must as an ingredient to ensure that it is true).
I served this for Christmas dinner this year along with a tasty ham, mashed sweet potatoes, Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls, Holiday Cranberry Salad and a delicious zucchini gratin which I’ll share at a later date.
- Greens and Seeds Salad with Balsamic Dressing
- 2 cups diced butternut squash (I buy precut squash at Costco or Albertsons)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
- 4 cups mixed leafy greens
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or pistachio nuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread butternut squash on baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil and Herbes de Provence over the squash and toss gently to coat evenly. Place in oven and roast at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until soft, flipping halfway through roasting time with a metal spatula. Remove and let cool.
- Arrange mixed greens in a large serving bowl. Top with roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds.
- For the Dressing: Combine all ingredients except olive oil in container of food processor fitted with metal blade. Cover and process until blended well. With the chute open, slowly pour olive oil through the chute to emulsify.
- Pour dressing over salad and enjoy!