Harvest Salad

Made this salad on Christmas Eve–so bright and colorful.  It depends on ingredients readily available in winter and has a surprising combination of flavors.

1 large Chinese eggplant
2 smallish zucchini
12 oz. package butternut squash, in chunks
1 red bell pepper
3 tab. olive oil
garlic salt
2 red apples
salad greens -1 full head red leaf lettuce is nice
1/2 cup pecans or pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sugar
feta cheese (with garlic and herbs)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tab. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 squirt brown mustard

Cut the zucchini, eggplant, butternut squash and red pepper into polite little chunks.  Mix them in a bowl with 3 tab. olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.  Spread it all out on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the veggies brown a bit around the edges.  Let them cool.  Meanwhile tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces and dump into a bowl.  Core and chop the apples.  The layer the roasted vegetables, apples, feta and candied* pecan or pumpkin seeds.

For the dressing combine the olive oil, cider vinegar, 2 tab. sugar, salt, pepper and mustard in a small container and shake to mix thoroughly.  Pour over the salad just before serving.

*Candy the pecans by combining the 1/2 cup nuts and 1/4 cup sugar in a small nonstick pan and stir continually over high heat until the sugar begins to melt.  Then lower the hear and keep stirring until the sugar is caramelized and coats the nuts.  Pour the nuts out onto a piece of foil to cool.

I buy the butternut squash all peeled and cube at Trader Joe’s.  So handy!

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