Saturday, 6 October 2012

Butternut Squash, Wheat Berry and Pomegranate Salad

It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I can hardly wait.  We will be surrounded by family, nature and of course good food.  Fall has always been a favourite time of year for me.  When Don and I were first dating, he asked me once my favourite season.  When I innocently shared my love of falling leaves and changing colours his response was "how can you love a season that is all about dying and decomposing?"  Maybe it's a fall birthday, the bounty of fall vegetables or so many happy memories of big Thanksgiving meals, regardless, it's still my favourite time of year.

A few years ago we started a family tradition of hiking in the woods and enjoying the outdoors with our extended family.  The kids will often build forts with fallen trees and if it's cool enough, we build a bonfire.  Eventually someone will say "we should go back and start supper" and the outdoor fun comes to an end.  We have started to get a little more clever about making food in advance so the outdoor time can be stretched just a little further.  This squash salad is a great one to make ahead of time.  We've been taking it on our lunches this week too and I can tell you, it just gets better with time.  So go ahead, make this before the big day so you can enjoy lots of time outdoors or with those you love.

Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad

1 lrg squash, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pomegranate
1 cup wheat berries
3 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot minced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  On a large cookie sheet, spread the olive oil and then toss squash cubes around.  Bake for 10min and then flip, baking 10min more.  You want the squash to be soft, but not mushy.  

While the squash is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the wheat berries and cook over medium heat for approximately 30min, until cooked through.  Drain and reserve.

In a small mason jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake to mix.  Pour dressing over warm wheat berries.  Mix in pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley.  Gently toss in butternut squash.  Enjoy warm or at room temperature.  Will keep refrigerated for a few days.

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