October’s harvest is probably one of my favourites in the whole year. I mean, who can resist butternut squash, pumpkin, kale, pomegranate, and figs, just to name a few. So when you are craving a salad this time of year, why look anywhere else? Your local farmers market is where it is at! Pick up some of these items and you can have yourself a fall harvest salad with roasted butternut squash and pomegranate with apple cider vinaigrette. Healthy, delicious and kind of a showstopper on your dinner table this season.
Butternut squash give this fall harvest salad a smooth and buttery feel, the pomegranate adds a tangy kick, the pumpkin seeds add some depth, and the kale just brings it all together. These ingredients are just meant to be put together, I mean, even mother nature thinks so! Why else do they grow during the same time of the year?
Serve this salad warm with freshly roasted butternut squash, or let things cool down a bit before serving. Your choice!
How to Toast Pepitas (No Shell Pumpkin Seeds)
If you have ever toasted your own seeds or nuts, you know that you can never go back to buying toasted seeds from the store. There is just something about freshly toasted nuts that store-bought ones just can’t replicate. Maybe it’s the warmth when it comes fresh out of the oven? Or the extra crispy crunch they seem to have. I just can’t put my finger on it, but if you know, then you know!
All you need to toast your own pepitas are:
- 1/3 cup raw pepitas (no shell pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
You basically combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, in a single layer. Then, bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350 F oven. I always try to make a big batch and save some for later, but once I do that, and designate a small amount for a given recipe, I end up eating the rest within 5 minutes…
Homemade Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Let’s talk about homemade apple cider vinaigrette. It’s nice that we can now say good-bye to store-bought salad dressings that just sit around in the fridge, half used, until they expire. Why? Well, because you can literally make your own in a few minutes, using ingredients that you likely already have at home.
Quick and easy, fall harvest salad with roasted butternut squash and pomegranate with homemade apple cider vinaigrette is the perfect addition to your holiday menu.
Fall Harvest Salad:
- 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 (5 oz.) package baby kale salad blend
- seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- 1/3 cup pepitas (no shell pumpkin seeds), toasted (for homemade, see instructions above in blog post)
Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Roast the Butternut Squash: Preheat oven to 400 F. Place butternut squash slices on a roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and honey and stir to mix together. Add to butternut squash and toss to combine. Roast for 30 minutes until squash is tender.
- Combine Salad: In a serving bowl, add baby kale. Arrange roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, cheddar cheese, and toasted pepitas on top.
- Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and whisk to combine. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad and serve.
How to Toast Pumpkin Seeds: In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup raw pepitas (no shell pumpkin seeds), 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon honey and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir together to combine. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange pepitas in a single layer and bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350 F oven.