Roasted acorn squash barley salad is worthy of the holidays, but delicious for everyday, too. This recipe also happens to be vegan!
It’s hard to believe we’re already talking holiday recipes, but here we are! We’ve already had our first snow here in Colorado, so it only felt right to roast up my first acorn squash of the season. To be honest, I could not wait.
I love the crescent-moon shape of sliced acorn squash—I think it makes even a simple barley salad like this one party-worthy.
I didn’t bother peeling this time, and I’m happy to report it was the right choice. The skin of an acorn squash (like delicata) is tender enough to eat, especially after thirty-plus minutes in a hot oven. (Leaving the skin on is also a convenient way to decrease at-home food waste.)
For this recipe, I spiced acorn squash with cumin and smoked paprika for flavor, and topped it with barley (a whole grain containing fiber, protein, magnesium, and iron), fresh kale (massaged with my hands to tenderize first), and toasted sunflower and sesame seeds (I used a mix of black and white for color).
Don’t skip the toasted seeds—you’ll be amazed at how much flavor they add to this dish!
All tossed with an easy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinaigrette.
This recipe is holiday-worthy, but there’s no need to wait until the big day to dig in.
Acorn squash is roasted and topped with barley and apple cider vinaigrette in this holiday-worthy salad recipe that also happens to be plant-based.
- 1 medium acorn squash, sliced into half-moons (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (toasted if desired)
- 1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds (toasted if desired)
- 1 cup cooked barley (see note)
- ½ cup massaged kale, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 375º F and spread acorn squash slices on baking pan in a single layer.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, cumin, paprika, and soy sauce. Pour over squash and roast 35-40 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender.
- In the same bowl, stir together barley and kale. Set aside.
Remove squash from the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Top with barley and seeds. Serve with extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
Preparation time includes time to cook dry barley. To prepare barley, bring 3 cups of water for every 1 cup dry grain to a boil. Simmer until tender, about 50-60 minutes. Drain excess water if necessary before serving.
To toast seeds: spread seeds in an un-greased baking pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree (Fahrenheit) oven 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown.