Fall Harvest Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Made with fresh kale, fennel, roasted squash, crisp apple, and creamy goat cheese, this harvest salad is the perfect dish for fall! Not only is it incredibly easy to prepare, but once made it stores incredibly well in the fridge for several days. In fact, The ingredients in this salad are hearty enough to withstand the dressing and it only gets better with time.
The key to any good salad is a really good dressing. Anyone can throw together fun combinations of fresh vegetables and fruits, but the right dressing can take any old salad from good to great. I used to always buy store-bought dressings; they are convenient and easy to use, and for the most part, they taste really good. Any grocery store carries over a dozen types of dressing so finding something you like is actually pretty easy. However, when I started to pay more attention to my food, dressings and sauces was one of the first places I started to address. It wasn’t until I really started reading labels and paying attention to my salad dressing and condiments that I realized how much added sugar I was consuming every day. For instance, a few scoops of peanut butter for breakfast, some store-bought dressing at lunch, a prepared marinade at dinner and the grams of added sugar really start to add up. Fortunately, making a tasty homemade salad dressing is really easy to do, you just need a little know-how.
For this fall harvest salad, I wanted to make a dressing that really said ‘Canadian’, and uses natural sugar instead of refined sugar, so I went for old faithful, maple syrup. Just a little drizzle of maple syrup takes this classic oil and vinegar style dressing and gives it just enough sweetness to even the flavors out. Not only does this fall harvest salad make a great dish for a crowd, but with its hearty ingredients this salad stores really well in the fridge for days and actually tastes better with time.
The best part of this fall harvest salad is that it can actually be made ahead of time and stores well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
- 1 head curly kale
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 apple, gala or honeycrisp
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup goat cheese (optional)
- Olive oil
- Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch black pepper
- Being by roasting the squash. Preheat the oven to 400°F, and while it is warming prepare the butternut squash. Peel it, and cut it in half. Using a spoon remove the seeds, and cut into cubes.
- Add cubed butternut squash to a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of sea salt. Transfer to the oven for 25-30 minutes until squash is tender and can be pierced with a fork. Once cooked, set aside and allow to cool. (This step can be done ahead of time.)
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the salad. Wash the kale leaves and pat them dry. Remove the tough ribs from the kale leaves, then chop or tear into bite-size pieces, and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle kale with a pinch of sea salt and massage it into the leaves until they become darker in colour. Set aside until it is time to assemble the salad, this will help to ensure more tender kale.
- Prepare the dressing. Add ingredients to a small bowl or jar and whisk to combine.
- Once the squash has cooled, prepare the remainder of the salad. Using a knife or mandoline, slice the fennel as thinly as possible. Leaving the skin on, chop the apple into thin bite-size pieces.
- Add roasted squash, fennel and apple to the bowl of kale, top with pumpkin seeds, pecans and goat cheese.
- Drizzle salad with dressing and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 240 calories
- Sugar: 8 grams
- Fat: 19 grams
- Carbohydrates: 16 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
Keywords: apple, maple dressing