Our Michigan fall has reached it’s crescendo and the rolling landscape here is an explosion of fiery colors. The drive along my short commute to and from work is a breathtaking display of the most saturated colors nature can offer. Like a child watching fireworks, this autumn season in particular has me truly enamored with it’s beauty. When my car reaches the top of the hill where the morning light hits a row of blazing maples just right, I am giddy beyond belief and find myself almost applauding our Creator for the display. It’s truly stunning and it never gets old no matter how long I’ve lived here.
I’m absorbing as much of the season as I can and that means an inexplicable compulsion to buy every squash I come across, edible or not. Currently, there is a spaghetti squash casserole in the fridge, 2 pumpkins next in line for roasting, and our mantle has no more room for the stacks of decorative gourds that are lining it. This butternut squash salad is just one of the many squash dishes we’ve already enjoyed this year. It’s hearty and packed with the best flavors of the season.
One of my favorite parts of this salad is the beet and apple relish. In fact, I’ve been making this addicting mixture at least once a week and using it to top just about everything from salad to toast and even mixing it with tuna. Grated raw beets have a perfect crunchy texture while apples give just the right amount of sweetness.
I’m using a really simple dressing here. Pungent dijon mustard gets mixed with lemon juice and maple syrup. It lends just the right amount zing to the slightly sweet squash and I just love how well mustard and apples play together.
Pear, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds help complete this vegetarian fall salad. Roasted chicken would be a welcomed addition, but I found this salad to be hearty and filling as is.
Friends, I hope you’re finding beauty in this season. And I hope you’re taking advantage of everything it has to offer, including all the kinds of squash. If you’ve found a favorite way to enjoy squash, tell me about it in the comments below!
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Beet and Apple Relish
Makes 4 Salads
For the Butternut Squash
- 3 Cups Cubed Butternut Squash
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Salt
Preheat the oven to 400. Place the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes until tender.
For the Beet and Apple Relish
- 1 Medium Beet
- 1 Medium Apple
- 2 Stalks Celery
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- Pinch of Salt
Use a box grater to grate the beet and apple and place in a bowl. Chop the celery and add it to the beet and apple. Dress with lemon and salt and toss to combine.
For the Dressing
- 1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup (More or less to taste)
Place the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
For the Salad
- 4 Cups of Kale or Spinach
- 2 Pears, sliced
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
If using kale, drizzle the greens with a couple tablespoons of the dressing and massage into the kale. Assemble 4 individual salads or 1 large salad by layering the kale, beet and apple relish, butternut squash, sliced pear, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and enjoy!