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Author Notes: Who says pasta salad has to be a summertime dish? Okay, honesty time, when I think about pasta salad, I conjure up images of picnics and beautiful weather. But pasta is versatile! Salads are versatile! Why pigeonhole pasta salad?
I work at a great small company in St Paul; one of the ways they show appreciation for the employees is by having a potluck lunch in the middle of the day every few months. Two tricky factors: I am the only vegetarian employee, and the office's sole means of heating things is a microwave. Since I don't own a crock pot, this means bringing something that's still delicious served cold, and something substantial enough to be a main course (since my coworkers often bring meat dishes). After a few potlucks, I had burned through all my still-great-cold potluck standbys — a challenge I happily embraced. A number of dishes were born from these creative obstructions; this one is my favorite. —Spensei
For the salad
- 1 pound brussel sprouts
- 1 butternut squash
- 3 tablespoons high smoke-point oil for roasting (canola or safflower)
- 1 pound Farfalle (bowtie pasta)
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- 2 comice or bosc pears
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 handful fresh sage leaves
- 1 bunch baby spinach
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
- In a small jar or bowl whisk all of the dressing ingredients together.
- Preheat your oven to 450°
- Peel and chop the squash. Toss with 2 Tbsp of the oil, spread it in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Trim and halve the brussel sprouts. Toss with the remaining oil and spread on another cookie sheet.
- Roast the squash in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. Halfway through, give them a stir and add the brussel sprouts to the oven.
- In a large bowl, combine the pasta, roasted vegetables, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds. Dress the salad to your satisfaction — you may find you have more dressing than you need. (But it is also great on green salads)
- Chiffonade the sage leaves, and gently fold the sage and the spinach into the salad.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pomegranates