Pomegranate Butternut Quinoa Salad

A quinoa salad to counteract the effects of a heavy winter meal is both a dazzling culinary contribution to any holiday table and a welcome detox for the overindulgent. The product of a happy accident – this delicate dish is host to a subtle symbiosis of flavors including pomegranates, butternut squash, and basil leaves. 

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Pomegranate Butternut Quinoa Salad: 

  • 2 cups sprouted, cooked quinoa (according to package instructions) 
  • 1 organic butternut squash
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate 
  • 4-5 ounces organic arugula, finely chopped (generally equivalent to one package) 
  • 10-15 organic basil leaves, finely chopped 
  • 1 organic shallot, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup raw sprouted pumpkin or sunflower seeds 
  • 1 organic avocado, diced
  • Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup organic 100% pure pomegranate juice 
  • 1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar, with the mother 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup Lucini extra virgin olive oil (100% pure Italian olives with no canola or vegetable additives)
  • Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To prepare the butternut squash, slice off the bottom and top. Poke several holes in the hard skin with a fork. Place the squash in the microwave for 3 minutes. Remove and easily peel the squash. Chop into small uniform pieces and toss with salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roast the squash for 30 minutes, flipping occasionally. Set aside to cool. 

While the squash is roasting, prepare the sprouted quinoa according to the package instructions. Set aside. 

Slice off the top and bottom of the pomegranate. Cut into quarters and remove all of the seeds. Submerge the seeds in a bowl filled with water to allow the pith to float to the top, which can then be discarded. Set aside. 

Use a chiffonade chopping technique to cut the arugula and basil leaves into fine strips, then chop further into small pieces. 

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, cooked quinoa, pomegranate seeds, greens, chopped shallot, seeds, and avocado. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss generously. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or let the ingredients macerate overnight in the refrigerator to bring out a heavier pomegranate-pesto flavor (my preferred method).