Delicata Squash Salad + Sherry Vinaigrette

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I did a lot of indulging over the holiday but, like most, am ready to get back to a normal routine of exercise and healthier eating.  (With the occasional baked good or treat, of course.)  

Here's a salad to start 2013 off right.  Delicata squashes don't require peeling, just a quick rinse and scrub to remove any dirt.  Substitute any salad green for the arugula if you prefer.  Serves 2.

Delicata Squash Salad + Sherry Vinaigrette

2 Delicata Squashes

drizzle of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

salt + pepper

 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

4 cups arugula, or other salad greens

1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1 oz hard, salty cheese, like aged mahon

For the sherry vinaigrette

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

salt + pepper

1/2 teaspoon mustard (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut squashes in half lengthwise and scrap out seeds.  Slice into half moons.  Place slices in baking pan and toss with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast 10 minutes and toss again. Roast about 10 minutes more or until done.  Let cool slightly.  Discard garlic (or smear it on a piece of toasted bread or two and serve with salad.)

Toss arugula with vinaigrette, divide into 2 bowls and top each with squash, pecans, pomegranate seeds and a grating of cheese.  

To make vinaigrette:  Start with the vinegar, adding pinches of salt to taste until acid is balanced (not too salty or too sharp).  Then add oil and mustard.  (Mustard adds flavor and helps everything hold together as a dressing/vinaigrette.)  Whisk together or shake in a small jar.