Sweet Potato Orzo Salad

This salad I created with a combination of squash from a friend’s garden along with brussels sprouts and sweet potato orzo from the Farmer’s Market.  The textures and tastes from the brussels sprouts, squash, orzo, and dried cranberries along with the citrus dressing makes one amazing salad.  This is great as an entrée alone or a wonderful side dish.


4 cups Brussels sprouts halved, cored, leaves separated
1 lb. Pappardelle’s Sweet Orzo
1 butternut squash
¼ red onion, finely diced
1 cup dried cranberries
2 T. mild & creamy Dijon mustard
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder
½ cup apple cider
1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Dressing Ingredients
1 ½ T. Champagne wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest from one lemon
1 large clove garlic
3 T. honey
¾ cup water
½ t. salt
½ t. pepper


Blanch bussels sprouts in boiling salted water for 1 minute.  Remove the brussels sprouts with a slotted spoon and place in large bowl of ice water to cool.  After a few minutes transfer to a salad spinner and spin dry.  Place these in either plastic bag or air tight bowl with a lid and refrigerate.  This step can be done the day before to save time.

Peel off the hard outer shell of the squash with a knife.  Cut the squash in ½” strips then dice into small cubes.  Mix the mild & creamy Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and garlic power with the apple cider.  Pour this dressing over squash and coat well.  Place squash in 9” X 13” baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  When squash is done remove immediately from pan and place in glass container with lid and refrigerate until it is time to assemble salad.  This step can also be done the day before to save time.

Cook sweet potato orzo for about 10 minutes.  Note: If you can’t find sweet potato orzo, you can substitute with whole wheat orzo.  I purchased the sweet potato orzo at the Farmer’s Market.  You can also purchase it at www.pappardellespasta.com .  Pour cooked orzo in strainer and run cold water over the pasta.        

Prepare dressing in 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Whisk lemon juice, Champagne wine vinegar, lemon zest, salt, pepper, honey and water together.  Set aside.

In large bowl mix brussels sprouts, squash, red onion, dried cranberries together.  Pour dressing over salad and mix well.  Spoon salad on plates and garnish with a small handful of pumpkin seeds.  This salad is delicious served at room temperature.