Try this roasted squash, fig and spinach salad for a side, light lunch or a simple dinner. Oven-roasted red kuri squash, caramelized figs with balsamic vinegar and baby spinach all come together in a subtle shallot vinaigrette. A cozy salad recipe you can enjoy from early days of fall to the very last winter days. I bet you’ll be eating this on repeat!
This year more than every year in the past, cooking from scratch matters. But life being life, we don’t always have the time (or the energy) to cook something advanced or sophisticated for every meal. To me, that’s what salads are for! I usually make myself salads several days a week, using seasonal ingredients and making it both nourishing and healthy.
This roasted squash, fig and spinach salad was born exactly this way, with roasted squash leftovers and a few ripe figs that needed to be used asap. Add to it a simple mix of baby spinach, walnuts, feta cheese, and the mandatory shallot vinaigrette, and you get a cozy vegetarian salad recipe, packed with vitamins and naturally gluten-free. Whether you prepare it on a weekday basis or serve it up for Thanksgiving dinner, this salad will be a hit!
A simple roasted squash salad.
The ingredients for this recipe are pretty simple: baby spinach, squash, figs, feta cheese, walnuts and a few pomegranate seeds. The vinaigrette is equally simple, featuring olive oil, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard and shallots. Yes, you can do it!
Which squash should I use for this salad?
Roasted squash being the main ingredient of this salad, you want it to bring some deep flavors and great textures to the dish. I used red kuri squash, which has a smooth and tender texture, perfectly buttery, with a sweet, nutty flavor reminiscent of chestnuts.
Other possible winter squash varieties include kabocha, acorn squash, or even delicata squash. There is of course nothing wrong with using the classic and versatile butternut squash either, but keep in mind that the salad will not have as much personality.
Fresh figs or not. Fig-ure it out!
If you ask me: fresh figs! Always. In this recipe, fresh figs are very lightly caramelized with balsamic vinegar, which makes them absolutely irresistible. An alternative is to use them fresh straight into the salad, with just a touch of balsamic glaze (thicker than balsamic vinegar) and skip the roasting part altogether. When sun-drenched, figs don’t need much add-ons.
That being said, we all know that these precious sweet and juicy fruits are very delicate and we don’t find them available all-year-round. For this reason, you may need to skip fresh figs from the recipe occasionally or replace them with dried figs. In this last option, use them halved or directly in the salad.
Can I swap some ingredients?
Sure you can! You will most likely not always have the ingredients at hand every time you make the recipe. And even if you do, you may want to make the recipe slightly differently from one time to another. Find below a few ideas to customize this salad and make it your own:
- Baby spinach: Replace with mixed greens, arugula, mâche salad. Any kind will do.
- Feta cheese: Use blue cheese if you want to add stronger flavors to your salad. Another possibility is to use creamy burrata ~ delicious!
- Walnuts can be replaced by any other nuts (pecans, hazelnuts, almonds…) and even seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.).
The final touches to the salad!
The shallot vinaigrette is a must to this roasted squash salad recipe. It’s a very basic French recipe, with just olive oil, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard, and obviously minced shallots. The shallot vinaigrette adds some fresh notes to the salad and contrasts with the sweet roasted squash.
Drizzle it all over the salad, mix well, and sprinkle pomegranate seeds over to add some juicy flavors to the dish and make it even more colorful. I hope you enjoy!
More recipes with roasted squash:
- Pumpkin and Walnut Tartines with Blue Cheese
- Roasted Squash with Quinoa and Mint Pesto
- Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash
- Roasted Squash and Brussels Sprout Pizza
- Chestnut, Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup
If you love fresh figs, try also:
- Fresh Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza
- Honey Fig Cheesecake Tart
- Fresh Fig Salad with a Vanilla Syrup
- Balsamic Tomato Galette with Fresh Figs
Lastly, if you make this Roasted Squash, Fig and Spinach Salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. And of course, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Thank you and enjoy!Print
Try this roasted squash, fig and spinach salad for a side, light lunch or a simple dinner. I bet you’ll be eating this on repeat!
For the salad:
- 1 red kuri squash*, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups (120g) baby spinach
- 4 ounces (115g) feta cheese, diced
- 10–12 fresh figs, halved
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/3 cup (40g) walnuts
- 2 Tablespoons pomegranate seeds
For the shallot vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 1 ½ Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 1 small shallot
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the squash, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the baking sheet in an even layer, place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes or until roasted, turning the slices once so they roast on both sides.
- Meanwhile, cook balsamic vinegar and honey in a skillet placed on medium heat. Once hot, roast figs on both side, until slightly caramelized and softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced shallot and black pepper in a bowl.
- Add the baby spinach to a large salad bowl and top with the roasted squash and figs. Crumble the feta and walnuts overtop and sprinkle with pomegranate arils. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!
* Alternatively, you can use kabocha, acorn squash, delicata squash or even butternut squash.
Keywords: Roasted Squash Salad