Creating a festive salad might be one of my favorite contributions to our Thanksgiving table and I have to say, I am in love with the moody vibe of this offering. Roasted delicata squash (a family favorite) dances with the crisp, sweet apples, tart pomegranate and earthy pumpkin seeds. A simple orange maple vinaigrette, lusciously coats the bed of dark greens which includes kale, spinach and arugula.
This fall harvest salad is a meal in itself that can and should be enjoyed many times outside of the holidays. An easy recipe, of course; the only cooking involved is roasted the squash and that can be done ahead of time.
What is Delicata Squash?
Delicata squash is a favorite in our house because talk about no-prep, the skin is edible so you don’t have to worry about peeling it. Delicata squash is a variety of winter squash with a light colored skin that often boasts speckles or stripes of green or orange. As its name suggests, it has characteristically a delicate skin or rind which is why you can eat it. Shaped like a large pickle, it’s has also been known as bohemian squash after my own heart. Mild and nutty in flavor, the sweetness is mild enough that it isn’t overwhelming.
Can’t find Delicata Squash? You could substitute roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
New to Delicata Squash? Try This Easy Recipe: Maple Roasted Delicata Squash
Don’t Like Darker Greens?
A lot of people don’t like Kale and that’s okay! Here are a few suggestions.
- Start with a mild lettuce like spring mix or even romaine and add a little kale to it. You won’t even taste it.
- Massage your kale. Kale can be tough, especially lacinato which has a slender, bumpy leaf. Give it a quick massage when you add the salad dressing. This helps to break down the fibers so it’s less tough when you eat it.
- Spinach is a great gateway to the darker greens. It’s more mild in flavor but lacking in bitterness. Arugula is a touch peppery but not nearly as bitter as kale. Try them first and maybe add a touch of kale!
Love Brussels Sprouts? Try This Fall Kale and Brussels Salad
Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash, Apples, Pomegranate
Yield 4-6 servings
- 1 delicata squash, halved, seeded and sliced into 1/2" pieces
- 4 cups of dark greens like kale, spinach and arugula (shaved brussels sprouts optional)
- 1 apple (gala or honeycrisp work well), cored and sliced thinly
- 1/4 cups pomegranate arils
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Optional: blue cheese crumbles, goat cheese or smoked gouda
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Arrange the greens in a large bowl.
- Toss the delicata squash pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange, in a single layer, on a sheet pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Cool.
- In a bowl or jar, combine the salad dressing ingredients. Whisk or shake to combine.
- Toss the greens with 1/2 the salad dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the greens on a large platter. Top with remaining ingredients.
- Serve with extra salad dressing.