This fall salad is full of autumnal flavour. Crisp, juicy apples. Warm butternut squash. Crunchy walnut pieces. With every forkful, you experience the tastes of the season!
Why I Love Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is one of my favourite winter squashes. It has a nutty-sweet flavour that tastes delicious in soups, casseroles, and salads. It’s light in calories but packed with so many good things. Like fibre, multiple minerals like potassium, and lots of vitamins including a ton of vitamin A. Squash tastes pretty great baked on its own. But when its roasted and drizzled with maple syrup, the flavour is next level goodness.
Which is exactly the starting point for this salad; beautifully roasted butternut squash, tossed in with fresh arugula and coated with a warm apple cider dressing.
It’s bursting with fall flavours!
Fall Salad Mix-Ins: Apples, Dates, Walnuts
The inspiration for this salad started after we went for our annual apple picking at the Log Cabin Orchard. If you’ve never been, the Log Cabin Orchard is just twenty minutes south of Ottawa. It’s a truly a fun place to pick apples and enjoy a lot of activities. You’ll get to experience wagon rides, a cute petting zoo, fresh churros, and of course tasty apples!
We’ve been going as a family since the fall of 2011. Coming home, as usual, with a big bushel of apples, I knew I wanted to whip up something scrumptious.
With many apple desserts to come, I wanted to start with a fresh and healthy salad. The combination of our freshly picked apple with in-season butternut squash was just the thing.
This salad is made with apples, arugula, walnuts, dates, and roasted butternut squash drizzled with maple syrup. Not only is it a nutritional powerhouse, it’s positively delicious!
Great as a side dish or starter this salad hits all the right notes for me. It’s in-season, healthy and tasty.
Right now is the ideal time to visit your local apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and farmer’s markets. Where you’ll find all the delicious fall produce to make the freshest dishes. Like this roasted butternut squash salad.
If you’re in a salad rut and looking for something fresh and seasonal, give this one a try!
Fall Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples
- 1 large butternut squash peeled and diced into small cubes
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 medjool dates roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups baby arugula washed and dried
- 1 small apple diced
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 2 tsp
apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wash and prepare all the ingredients.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly distribute the butternut squash and top with extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add the dates to the pan, and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the squash is well cooked and golden.
- In a small saucepan, pour in the apple cider and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer on low for 8 minutes. Watch carefully and stir regularly. Remove from the stove top and add in mustard, extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper.
- In a large serving bowl, add the arugula as the base. Then top with roasted squash and dates, walnuts, apples and parmesan (reserve some to sprinkle on top). Pour dressing over the salad, starting with just a bit. Toss and then add more, until the salad is coated to your preference (save any remaining dressing for another salad!). Top with additional parmesan, salt and pepper, and serve.
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