This was easily our favorite dish to come out of #MarinatedFriendsgiving. Look at the colors! Look at the health! This salad is the perfectly balanced first course to whet the appetite of all your guests, while managing to make sure they don't get too full. 

Butternut Squash Salad

Ingredients: 

1 butternut squash

1 small log of goat cheese

2 cups golden raisins 

1 bag spinach 

1 bag chopped walnuts

1 cup balsamic vinaigrette 

1/2 cup olive oil 

Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions: 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Start by peeling and dicing up your butternut squash. You can also buy it already diced if you don't want to go through the struggle that is peeling a squash with tiny hands. 

Put the diced squash on a large sheet pan and drizzle olive oil on top as well as a few grinds of salt and pepper. Toss around so every piece is coated. Place the pan in your preheated oven and leave to roast for 30-40 minutes, until tender, or until a fork goes through them easily. 

Put the chopped walnuts on a small sheet pan in a single layer. Leave in the oven for fifteen minutes until toasted. 

For the dressing: put the balsamic vinaigrette in a small pan on the stove with medium high heat. When it starts boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and let it come to a boil again. The balsamic will reduce and turn into a glaze soon. Turn off the heat and put to the side. 

In a large pan, heat up two tablespoon of olive oil. Add the fresh spinach and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until the spinach has wilted. 

Transfer the spinach to a plate with paper towels to drain off the excess oil. Now we can start assembling our salad! Obviously the most fun part. 

Cut about half an inch off of the goat cheese log and put it on the side of a plate. Using the back of a spoon, press the goat cheese medallion down and drag alon the side of the plate. On top of the goat cheese, place a small portion of the spinach. Right on top, put 4-6 pieces of squash. Add a handful of toasted walnuts and a handful of golden raisins. Drizzle just a bit of olive oil on top and then drizzle the balsamic glaze. Add freshly cracked pepper and you are done!

Delicious and easy and beautiful. And almost healthy. Hey, we tried.