With each passing year, my family gets healthier and healthier with our holiday menus. True, we'll never go without mashed potatoes and a decadent dessert, but there are no more candied yams or cream cheese dips and instead Persimmon Goat Cheese Bites and salads. This salad is super colorful and pretty much all make ahead and also vegan and gluten free so it'll satisfy pretty much any eater.
peeled and small dice (about 3 1/2 cups)
plus more for the squash
halved and thinly sliced
Heat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil, add a pinch of salt and a crank or pepper and toss to combine. Roast until knife tender, at least 20 minutes then set aside to cool.
Squash can be roasted up to 2 days ahead of time. Store refrigerated in an airtight container and bring to room temperature before using.
Meanwhile, soak the sliced shallots in ice water for 5 minutes then drain the water. Make the dressing by combining the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, and 1/3 cup hot water in a blender and process until smooth (the mixture should be as thin as melted ice cream). Stir in salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Soaking the shallot will mellow it out; you can skip it but the dressing may have a more onion-y bite.The shallots and dressing can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of time. Store refrigerated in an airtight container and stir the dressing (and taste it) before using.
To serve, arrange the greens, squash, shallots, pomegranate, and pepitas on a serving plate and pass the dressing on the side.
This salad is also delicious with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar if you don't want to make the tahini dressing.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp