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Finding delicious, easy-to-transport dishes to take to work functions can be tough, so I make it a point to note the ones that are particularly successful, like last year’s Lemon Shortbread Cookies. In a season of potlucks and festivities, I thought I’d share this savory side salad that you can make ahead. It also gets points for being a healthy alternative in a season of starches and butter.

This is my friend Megan’s recipe, which she created during our Vegan month by taking elements from the Harvest Cobb salad she had at Chop’t. Roasting both the beets and butternut squash give the dish a savory element that can easily make this a main dish as well, without adding any meat. Remove the goat cheese–and it’s vegan too! When I made it for our work Thanksgiving, I prepared everything the night before, and just added the dressing right before serving. It went fast–people will love it!

Roasted Beet and Squash Salad

Roasted Beet and Squash Salad

  • 3-4 beets (1 bunch), stems removed
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 bunch romaine, washed and torn into smaller pieces
  • 1 apple, diced into 1-inch cubes (Granny Smith preferred)
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • Balsamic Dressing (see below)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the squash, lightly coating with salt/pepper/olive oil, and placing in a single layer on cookie sheets.
  2. Wash the beets  and loosely pocket in tin foil, drizzling with oil. Cook both veggies together until they are tender, between 45-60 minutes. Turn the squash once while cooking so all sides brown evenly. Let the beets cool, and then peel the skin off with your fingers. It should easily come apart from the interior.
  3. Add salad elements together and store until ready to serve. A balsamic dressing works well with this, if you don’t have one feel free to try the one below. Using a shallot in the dressing really adds to the ingredients, so I would definitely recommend adding one to whatever dressing you use.

Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 3 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t. rice vinegar
  • 1 T. apple cider (optional)
  • 1/4 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 T. orange zest
  • juice from 1 orange (zest before juicing!)