This roasted pumpkin, spinach & cranberry salad is the perfect meal for autumn & winter months when you’re craving a salad. The combination of the sticky maple roasted pumpkin with the tart & chewy dried cranberries, toasted pecans, smoky bacon & creamy blue cheese is an addictive combination.
And of course the dressing, a maple & white balsamic vinaigrette that’s pretty fabulous. The combination of it all together is simply a salad masterpiece. All modesty aside. I originally shared this recipe on my old website – The Fresh Aussie which is now obsolete, but is too good now to share again on Fresh Hunger, this new website.
Sometimes we’ll have this salad twice in one week in our house & lunch leftovers as it makes quite a lot & I tend to write my recipes for four people or more. I need to rethink that idea perhaps…
Serve this salad as a main meal or as an appetizer. I’m including it in our Christmas Day menu. Christmas, do you believe it almost December? Cheers, Lovoni
A PIC TO SHARE ON PINTEREST
- 3 lb (1.3kg) calabaza pumpkin (or butternut squash)*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 8 slices bacon
- 5 oz (141g) baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
- 4 oz (113g) blue cheese, coarsely crumbled
- MAPLE VINAIGRETTE
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
- To make maple vinaigrette, shake all ingredients together in a medium jar with a screw top lid until well combined; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a greased wire rack on one baking sheet.
- Peel pumpkin using a small, sharp knife or peeler. Cut pumpkin into 1-inch (2.5cm) slices. Toss pumpkin, olive oil, salt & pepper on a baking sheet without the wire rack. Arrange pumpkin in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup; toss. Roast a further 10 minutes or until pumpkin is browned & caramelized.
- Lay strips of bacon, in a single on prepared wire rack. While pumpkin is cooking, cook bacon for about 20 minutes or until crisp. Cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces.
- Arrange spinach leaves, pumpkin, bacon, cranberries & pecans in a large bowl or individual bowls. Drizzle with dressing. Top with blue cheese.