Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend.
Today, I have for you a warm, colorful fall salad full of bright colors, lots of texture and flavor, and will be welcome during the cooler months when grey skies appear more often. The colors will brighten your day and the warmth will be comforting.
We’ll be caramelizing delicata squash, toasting maple glazed walnuts and cranberries, mixing it all together with fresh greens, red onion and a sweet & tangy dressing. It’s a delicious combination!
And don’t throw those seeds away, you can roast them using this recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. I sprinkled mine with a little chipotle powder and mineral salt. They were crunchy, delicious and I ate them all within an hour!
I’ve been busy updating again! I just revisited this Apple, Fennel + Sage Lentil Loaf. It’s full of wonderful flavors and a perfect center piece to your holiday table. If you know and love The Ultimate Vegetable Lentil Loaf, you’re going to love this one just as much!
I’ve tried a few versions of this salad before settling on the final recipe.
In my effort to simplify things I tested roasting everything together which was so-so but the cranberries colored the squash while stirring. To avoid this, and possible over toasting of the nuts, I decided to roast the squash alone and bake the cranberries and walnuts together on a separate baking sheet.
Originally I used pecans but didn’t love them here and decided on using walnuts instead. They are sweeter and paired much better overall with the rest of the ingredients, but if you’re a pecan lover by all means use them.
To offset the cranberries tartness I tossed them in with the walnuts and maple syrup. The result: Delicious!
The dressing is adapted from the Not So Honey Maple-Dijon Dressing.
I also tossed in quinoa for additional protein and heartiness, wheat berries or farro would work too.
ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH + CRANBERRY SALAD
Light, bright and flavorful, this fall salad is a great way to celebrate the fall/winter season.
- 2 small delicata squash
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- dash of cinnamon, optional
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 5 oz. baby leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach, arugula)
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked quinoa, wheat berries or farro, optional
Apple Cider Dressing
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 – 2 tablespoons water or olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash delicata squash, cut ends off, slice in half lengthwise and scrape seeds out with a sharp-edged spoon. Lay squash cut side down and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Using a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silpat, parchment paper or lightly greased, lay pieces in a single layer and lightly sprinkle with mineral salt. Cook for 40 minutes stirring once or twice.
In a medium bowl, toss the walnuts and cranberries with a glug of maple syrup and dash or two of the optional cinnamon. Place mixture on a small rimmed baking sheet that has been lined or lightly greased. Add to the oven with the squash for the first 15 – 20 minutes of baking stirring after 10 minutes. Remove, let the walnuts harden.
In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients and mix well.
In a large mixing bowl combine the leafy greens, onion, slightly cooled squash, cranberry/walnut mixture and dressing, toss well. Add in cooked grain of choice and gently toss again.
Serve warm or at room temperature, can also be served chilled.
Serves 2 – 4.
I used quinoa here adding cinnamon while cooking. My recipe for the quinoa is:
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
In a small saucepan, bring water, quinoa and cinnamon to a boil, cover, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and let 10 minutes, fluff with a fork. Use as directed above.
Keep those seeds for roasting, use this recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It works great with delicata seeds too. They roast up crunchy and make for a great snack!