Fall Harvest Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Hi!

How is everyone doing?

I saw a meme recently that said, “What has felt longer, the last 3 days or the month of March?” I mean…yea.

I’ve been trying to distract myself by working out, watching trash TV, and constantly thinking about what my next meal is…But who am I kidding, I do that regardless of the life scenario.

This salad was inspired by a salad that back when I was a line cook, I created for the restaurant I worked at. It was a mixed green salad with a miso ginger cranberry vinaigrette. Turned into..

Fall Harvest Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

This salad has all the delicious fall things: butternut squash, pecans, apples, cranberries, and goat cheese. Goat cheese isn’t a “fall” thing but it’s my favorite food and it must be included in all recipes that make sense.

To make the cranberry vinaigrette, the trick is to soak dried cranberries in hot water for about 20 minutes to let them soften.

Then just put the remaining ingredients, shallot, dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper, in a blender or food processor with the soaked cranberries. Drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified and that’s it!

For the butternut squash, I cut it in small cubes and tossed the squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Roasted at 425 for about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Allow to cool and assemble! This would be a great salad to serve for Thanksgiving for a lighter, yet delicious option.

Oh and I have to mention that I found this goat cheese and it’s incredible. Highly recommend adding this or even a honey goat cheese to the salad for some added sweetness and flavor.

Fall Harvest Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 small butternut squash, (should yield about 5 cups chopped) peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 6-8 cups of mixed greens (a mix of arugula, mesculn, spinach, baby kale, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted 
  • 2 apples, chopped (optional)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries 
  • 6 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 scallions, chopped 

For the Cranberry Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup dried cranberries 
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallot
  • ⅓ cup champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 1 ¼ cup olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. For the vinaigrette: soak the cranberries in very hot water for about 20 minutes until softened. Drain and place in a blender or food processor. Blend together with the shallot, champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, honey. While blending, slowly add in olive oil until emulsified. Add in a large pinch of salt and pepper and blend to combine. Season to taste. (this makes a lot of dressing, feel free to save for later or cut the recipe in half!)
  2. Preheat the oven to 425. On a baking sheet toss together squash, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow to cool to room temp.
  3. In a large bowl add remaining salad ingredients including cooled squash. Toss together with cranberry vinaigrette. Serve immediately. 

So many delicious flavors in one salad! My kind of salad is a salad with lots of delicious toppings.

I hope you give this recipe a try!

Happy Weekend everyone 🙂

xx Chelcie

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