Warm Spiced Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds

Warm Spiced Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds


1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs.)
1½ lbs. parsnips
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups prewashed baby arugula or baby spinach
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds), toasted*
Pumpkin seed oil
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. red wine vinegar


• Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

• Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, trim off the top and bottom and slice it in half. Scoop out the strings and seeds with a large spoon and discard. Slice the squash into 1-inch pieces and spread on a large, rimmed baking sheet.

• Peel the parsnips and slice into 1-inch pieces. Add to the squash on the baking sheet.

• In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper, orange zest and juice and olive oil. Pour the mix over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly.

• Roast the vegetables for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once, or until tender and lightly caramelized.

• Add the arugula (or spinach) to the warm vegetables and toss to wilt slightly.

• Transfer to a large platter or serving bowl. Crumble the feta cheese over the salad and sprinkle with the pepitas.

• Whisk together the pumpkin seed oil, honey and vinegar and drizzle over the salad.

*To toast the pepitas, place them in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until they are fragrant and golden brown, or place them on a small baking sheet and toast them in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Get creative and play with your salad with some of these tasty variations:

• Toss 1 thinly sliced red onion with the squash and parsnips before roasting for an extra-yummy layer of caramelized sweetness.

• Crumble some cooked, crisp applewood-smoked bacon over the salad and substitute blue cheese for the feta.

• Add a generous mixture of chopped winter salad greens such as curly frisée, escarole and radicchio for beautiful color, crunch and a pleasantly bitter taste contrast.

• Sprinkle some chopped fresh mint over the finished salad to rock the Casbah.