If you love cooking as much as I do, it is impossible not to celebrate the arrival of each new season. Each season is a celebration of specific fruits and vegetables, and it is impossible for me to pick a favorite season because of this. I love the wide varieties of leafy greens available each fall, my favorites being kale, Swiss chard, and broccoli rabe. I have a kale salad obsession lately and have been eating one made with other vegetables every day for lunch for the past two weeks. Leafy greens are low in calories and are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Along with my favorite greens, every store and greengrocer offers a wide variety of winter squash, and we love them so much that we seem to be eating some variety of squash on a daily basis this month. Winter squash is very healthy for you as it is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a good source of both fiber and vitamin C, and best of all is low in calories. Some of the most commonly found varieties of winter squash include Pumpkin, Acorn, Butternut, Turban, Hubbard, Delicata, and of course the unique Spaghetti squash which can be used in place of pasta once cooked.
For this fall inspired sad I combined roasted butternut squash, kale, shaved Brussels sprouts, diced apples, dried cranberries, and candied pecans that I buy from Trader Joe’s. If you cannot find candied pecans, regular pecans or walnuts will work just fine. This salad has lots of texture, is full of flavor, and is hearty enough to be a main course if you are trying to fit a few meatless days into your weekly menu. To dress this salad, I felt it needed something vibrant to bring all the flavors together, and I combined apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and a little Dijon mustard for my vinaigrette. This salad is an ideal option to serve as an appetizer or first course for Thanksgiving or for any other fall celebration.
Deborah Mele 2016
Fall Harvest Salad With Butternut Squash, Kale, Apples, & Cranberries
- 1 1/2 Pounds Diced Butternut Squash
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 5 Cups Kale, Ribs Removed & Cut Into Small Pieces
- 1/2 Pound Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed & Sliced Thin
- 1 Large Apple, Cored & Diced
- 3/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 3/4 Cup Candied Pecans, Coarsely Chopped (See Notes Above)
- 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Heaping Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Toss the diced squash with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the squash out onto the baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Cool the squash to room temperature.
- Place the kale and sprouts in a large bowl, and use your fingertips to rub the greens for a few minutes to soften.
- Add the cooled squash, apple, cranberries, and pecans to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to coat.
- Serve and enjoy!