In the past 2 week I have made this salad three times! Including for a family get togethers and everyone has loved it! Highly recommend you save this one as you will keep coming back to it!
A crowd pleasing salad for family gatherings
Perfect amount tangy sweet, creamy and crisp, this salad is a crowd pleaser.
This one is also easy to modify. Want to use romaine instead of kale? Go for it! (I actually prefer it like that). Don’t want to add nuts or goat cheese. Skip them! Don’t have pomegranate molasses? Just sub for maple syrup or honey! Don’t have butternut squash, use any other squash you have. Or try beets! Anything that roasts well with a natural sweetness will work in this salad.
Feel free to play around with it and make it your own! Use what you have on hand!
How to prevent the lettuce in a salad from getting soggy
This is a good one to make ahead as you can prep everything ahead of time. The secret is to layer all the ingredients into a bowl starting with salad dressing on the bottom. Add all the other toppings into the dressing. Lettuce sits on top. But don’t mix it together until you are ready to serve! By keeping the lettuce on top, it avoids touching the dressing until you toss the whole thing together, preventing it from getting too soggy if you make the salad ahead of time!
That being said, once tossed, this salad has kept pretty well in the fridge for up to 3 days without loosing too much of the fresh crunch.
Where to find pomegranate molasses
One of the key ingredients in the dressing for this fall salad is pomegranate molasses. I do highly recommend you get some if you can. I was able to find it at my local south asian or arabic grocer (Adonis has it in Ontario). I use it to flavour my stews as well as in salad dressing. It has a similar tangy sweetness of a balsamic glaze, but I actually prefer the flavour of this over balsamic!
Highly recommend you give it a try if you haven’t! But if you are in a pinch and don’t have any, just sub for more maple syrup in this salad dressing.
Hope you give this one a go!
The Best Fall Salad
For the Salad
- 1 small butternut squash, about 2-3 lbs, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- flakey salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 1 cup farro, or bulgur, quinoa or any other grain of choice
- 1 large bunch kale or romaine lettuce, destemmed & chopped
- 1 large apple, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
For the Dressing
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (or sub maple syrup)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- flakey salt, to taste
Prep the Ingredients for the Salad
- Pre-heat oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Spread the chopped butternut squash onto the baking sheet and toss with 3 Tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and easily pierced with a fork (about 30 mins). Make sure to give it a flip halfway into the cooking time.
- If your nuts are not already toasted, in the last 5 minutes of cooking time toss your nuts in with the squash to toast up. They should turn golden brown and fragrant. Once the squash is cooked through and nuts are roasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- While the squash is roasting, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro (or whatever grain you are using). Cook at a rolling boil for about 20 minutes or until the grain is softened but still has some bite. There should be at least 1 inch of water over the grain at all times.
- Place the chopped kale in a colander over the sink. Pour the cooked farro and water over the kale to wilt it and drain the farro at the same time. Allow the hot farro to sit over the kale to help soften the kale. (Note: if you are using romaine lettuce skip this step! No need to wilt the romaine!) Allow the farro to cool slightly.
Prepare the Salad
- In the bottom of a large bowl you will use to serve the salad, place all the dressing ingredients, except olive oil and salt. Slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing ingredients while continuously whisking to combine. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Sprinkle the roasted butternut squash and nuts over top of the dressing in the bowl.
- Sprinkle with the chopped apples, goat cheese and raisins (or dried cranberries). Top with the greens (kale or romaine) & farro. Cover and set aside until you are ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, toss all the ingredients together and enjoy!