The fall harvest is here. Booths at the farmer’s market are overflowing with shades of orange. The bins at the Co-Op are glistening with deep greens. The trees that dot our street are a bright, flaming red. I’ve got a large batch of summer goods to be dried and to be canned. It’s time to make room for the earthy flavors of fall.
After one too many social engagements and a few too many meals out last week, I was craving something natural and unrefined to eat over the weekend while the hubs was away. With a small batch of beets and a large tub of baby greens in the fridge, I ventured down the road to pick up something a bit heartier to add to my meal. I walked away with a large butternut squash and a bag full of Thai chilies. The squash for my salad, and the chilies to satisfy my spicy cravings.
This salad is easy and as versatile as can be. No pecans on hand? Walnuts would be great. No squash? Try a sweet potato. Running low on your stock of baby greens? Arugula would be divine! As most of these ingredients are usually always on hand, I do believe I’ve found a new fall staple to get us through the chilly days ahead.
Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets
1 container of mixed baby greens
4 cups of butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 large beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 green apple, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 tbsp coconut oil
Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below)
For an added bit of flavor and texture, top your greens with the seeds from your butternut squash. Just wash, dry, and toast them with a bit of coconut oil and salt. For even more flavor, try adding a couple of slices of crumbled bacon, because bacon makes everything better, right?
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss your prepared butternut squash and beets in 1 tbsp of coconut oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender. Once tender, set aside and allow to cool.
Once cooled, tossed your greens with the squash, beets, apples, pecans, and cheese. Top with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette. Recipe serves four as a meal or eight as a side. I imagine it’d go wonderfully with some cider-brined pork chops!
This dressing is all about your personal taste. These measurements are only approximations as I never make it the same twice. Sometimes I crave it with a bit more sweetness, and others with a little more kick. Adjust accordingly.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard in the bottom of a mason jar. Add olive oil and add put on the lid. Shake vigorously until well-blended.