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The temperatures may have sky rocketed back up to the 90’s here in Southern California after the first official day of fall last week, but I’m in denial and am officially ignoring the summer-esque heat to focus on fall flavors like this Roasted Butternut and Ranch Autumn Wedge Salad.
This wedge salad is a bright, colorful way to showcase one of our all-time fall favorites, butternut squash. These wedges are substantial enough to eat like a meal, but light enough that they don’t weigh us down in this oppressive heat wave we’re having. We love the contrast of warm oven roasted squash with the crisp, ice cold iceberg lettuce and don’t even get us started on how insanely addictive that garlic laced crispy quinoa is! The way it sneaks down into the crevices of the iceberg lettuce adding texture and flavor to every single bite is absolutely irresistible.
The only thing about this salad Todd and I disagree on is the bacon. I personally finish it with a scattering of chopped oven baked bacon, while he prefers a few handfuls of homemade coconut bacon. We both agree though that the only way to dress this salad is with Litehouse Organic Ranch Dressing!
In celebration of September being Organic Harvest Month, Litehouse Organics will be on sale through the end of the month at grocery stores nationwide. Their dressings are available in six delicious flavors: Organic Balsamic, Organic Ranch, Organic Caesar, Organic Raspberry Lime, Organic Rosemary Balsamic and Organic Ginger with Honey. All of their dressings taste incredible and have no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG, and no artificial preservatives, which makes this mama feel good about serving them at the dinner table. Be sure to stock up before September is over by picking up a few bottles of your favorite flavors in the refrigerated produce section of your local supermarket
To make this a weeknight meal that comes together in under 30 minutes simply roast the butternut squash up to 3 days in advance and store in the fridge. Then reheat while the quinoa is crisping in the oven.
- 1 medium sized butternut squash, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4–6 wedges
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 4 slices of cooked, crispy bacon, chopped
- Litehouse Organic Ranch Dressing
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Score the flesh of the butternut squash, making 1/2-inch deep cuts through it one way and then the other (in a checker-board pattern). Arrange the prepared squash halves, cut side up on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil then season with salt, pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder. Place in the oven for about 60 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, make the crispy quinoa. In a small bowl combine the quinoa, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Stir to combine then season with salt and pepper. Spread out into an even layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. When the squash has 30 minutes left to roast, add the pan of quinoa to the oven. Roast the quinoa, stirring every 10 minutes until crispy and golden brown. (This will take approximately 30 minutes. ) Once the squash is fork tender and the quinoa is crispy remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.
- To serve, arrange wedges of iceberg lettuce on a serving platter. Use a large spoon to scoop chunks of the butternut squash from its peel and arrange them around the iceberg lettuce. Sprinkle liberally with the crispy quinoa, pepitas, and chopped bacon. Serve immediatley with Litehouse Organic Ranch Dressing.