As for the beans, well, I recently realized that they’re super convenient to have on hand so I can use them in salads and smoothies and soups, so I try to have some ready in the fridge at all times. I cook a batch on the week-end and they last me all week.
Of course, if you were going to make this salad from scratch, it would require quite a bit of time and planning ahead, as you’d have to grill or oven roast your butternut squash and beets, as well as soak and cook the white beans. I guess you’d have to get started on the previous day.
It might represent a lot of work if you’re going to be making it only for one or two people, but if you are going to be serving it to the entire family as a main course, then I think it might be very well worth the extra work.
Or, just do like I did and use the leftover squash, beets and beans in all kinds of other dishes… I like to do that a lot. Since I often cook for one or two, I have to think of many dishes to make with the same ingredients, especially when it comes to squash (these things aren’t exactly tiny!), or things that take a while to cook, like roasted vegetables, whole grains and beans.
Oh, and if you really can’t wait for the next day, I guess this salad would also be excellent served warm!
WHITE BEANS, ROASTED BEETS AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 thick slice grilled or oven roasted butternut squash*, cooled and cut into 1” cubes
- 2 roasted beets, cooled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 cup cooked (or canned) white beans, cooled
- 1-2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Start by adding all the ingredients of the dressing in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside
- Divide the spinach leaves between 2 serving plates
- Add the white beans on top, followed by cubes of squash and beets
- Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and chopped sage.
- Drizzle dressing over your salad and garnish with fresh sage leaves, if desired.
*To cook butternut squash (or pumpkin, or any other kind of squash), start by preheating your grill to medium heat, or oven to 400F. Cut the squash into thick slices and remove the seeds and skin. Lightly brush the slices on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and dried oregano. If grilling, place directly on the grill and cook for about 5-8 minutes per side, or until tender, but firm. If baking, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, turning the slices halfway through the cooking process. Cool completely before cutting into cubes.
* To cook beets, preheat oven to 375°F Leave root and 1 inch of stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Cut in quarters and arrange on a baking sheet. Add ¼ cup water, cover with foil and bake for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until tender. Cool and peel.