This barley butternut squash salad is filled with pomegranate, dried cranberries and rosemary. It’s tossed with a tangy cranberry vinaigrette dressing and perfect for your holiday table.
I’m having an internal debate as I sit here in 80 something degree weather with Caribbean blue skies and water, palm trees swaying and a slew of fun frozen drinks at my disposal.
Do I really care that I’m missing Thanksgiving this year?
Half of me says “Girl, are you crazy? THIS is the life you were meant to live. You’re sitting outside in the sand getting tan while your husband is at home feeding a wood stove and putting on a down jacket, hat and gloves just to go outside.”
The other (nostalgic) half of me is saying “Of course you do. Ain’t no pina colada (even if it’s made with nutmeg and tastes like an amazing frozen eggnog slushie) gonna make up for missing mom’s stuffing!”
And then there’s this salad that I’ve partnered with the Grain Foods Foundation on.
It’s a hearty combination of cooked barley, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar roasted butternut squash.
There’s a bright refreshing pomegranate dressing that gets drizzled and tossed into the squash salad making for one heck of a Thanksgiving side dish.
Our holidays are never complete without butternut squash somehow incorporated in the menu but when it comes to Thanksgiving, another mashed squash or potato is just kind of boring.
Pairing the butternut with the healthy, hearty barley is a fun twist on a grain salad and could even be used in place of stuffing if you’re looking for an easy (but just as delicious) way out.
In fact, it reminds me a lot of the stuffing in this stuffed delicata squash recipe just without the meat!
I’m not sure it beats Grenadian weather, but I might miss this too.
MORE SQUASH RECIPES TO TRY:
Barley Butternut Squash Salad
- 3/4 cup uncooked barley
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 4 cups chopped butternut squash, about 1 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or cherries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- cranberry vinaigrette for dressing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine barley and water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, cover and lower to a simmer. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, toss butternut squash with olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet.
- Roast squash in oven for about 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally until starting to caramelize on the edges.
- Combine the barley, butternut squash, cranberries and pomegranate in a large bowl.
- Season to taste with more salt, pepper and rosemary if desired.
- Drizzle cranberry vinaigrette on top, toss again to coat and transfer to a serving bowl.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
*This post is sponsored by the Grain Foods Foundation through Collectively. All opinions, content and photography are my own.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.