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This Autumn salad recipe is as beautiful as it is wholesome. Staring with fresh hearty kale leaves to set the canvas, bright and flavorful maple roasted acorn squash and sliced red grapes are sweet undertones while crispy apple and crunchy pecans add texture. A classic tarty apple cider vinaigrette dresses the salad to balance sweetness and acidity. This will be a seasonal favorite, guaranteed!
I’ve never met a Kale salad I didn’t like!! The leaves are so strong and hearty that kale always stands its ground to whatever dressing you chose , and the super green nutritional content just can’t be beat by other lettuce alternatives. Although Kale has been around FOREVER (seriously- like B.C. times) in the most recent decade or two it has gained a lot of popularity. Particularly, due to its incredibly easy going cultivation attributes, and a societal trend of overall health consciousness when it comes to food consumption.
On call me a band wagon fan, I don’t care- I’m team #ohkaleyeah all they way!
This Autumn Kale salad is like a Fall Festival that looks as beautiful as it tastes! It celebrates the produce and colors of the season by incorporating an Autumnal Palette with warm yellows (squash), deep burgundy (red grapes and red quinoa) , buttery light cream (apples), and tawny browns (pecans and farro grains).
This would be a beautiful side dish or a meal all on it’s own. I promise you will absolutely love this Autumn Kale Salad with Maple Roasted Squash, Whole Grains, Grapes and Apples!!! It will be on repeat in your kitchen all season long!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Maple Roasted Squash:
- acorn squash
- maple syrup
- cooked farro
- cooked quinoa
- red grapes
- blue cheese
- maple roasted acorn
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- olive oil
- dijion mustard
MAPLE ROASTED ACORN SQUASH:
Start by roasting the squash, Preheat the oven to 375F°
Wash each acorn squash well, then trim the top and bottom off, and scoop out the inner seeds and strings.
Lay the squash halves on its flat side, then cut into 1″ thick slices and place on baking sheet.
To make the maple butter, combine maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30-60 second til butter is melted. Stir and coat each squash slice with the maple butter.
Roast for 35 minutes, until until caramelized and soft. I only used half of the roasted acorn squash for my salad. BUT you could use it all if you want- totally up to you!
While the squash is cooling, prepare the salad ingredients. Remove the thick middle stem from kale leaves and discard. Then chop or tear into desired size and rinse in a salad spinner, here’s the one I have. Core and dice apple, slice grapes, chop pecans and prepare the quinoa and farro over stovetop according to package directions.
Combine all ingredients and large salad bowl and crumble blue cheese over top. Wait to toss till dressing is added.
APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE
To make apple cider vinaigrette, finely mince shallot and place in small mixing bowl along with the apple cider vinegar, djion mustard, honey and salt/pepper, Add in olive oil gradually tilt the bowl and whisk the vinaigrette quickly for a few seconds. First you’ll see bubbles of the oil and vinegar break into each other, and then the vinaigrette will become uniform.
Finally, pour over salad and serve! And even though dressed salads are usually not good for leftovers, this one is an exception because the hearty kale wont wilt as traditional green leaf lettuce would!
Can’t promise there will be leftovers though.. this is just too good to resist!
Autumn Kale Salad with Maple Roasted Squash, Whole Grains, Grapes and Apples
Maple Roasted Squash
- 1 acorn squash halved and sliced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 2 bunches Kale stem removed, chopped and rinsed
- ½ cup farro cooked, cooled
- ½ cup quinoa cooked, cooled
- 1 cup sliced red grapes
- 1 apple diced
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup pecans chopped
- 1 cup maple roasted acorn squash quartered slices
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- ½ shallot minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dijion mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
Maple Roast Acorn Squash
- Preheat the oven to 375F°
- Wash each acorn squash well, then trim the top and bottom off, and scoop out the inner seeds and strings.
- Lay the squash halves on its flat side, then cut into 1″ thick slices and place on baking sheet.
- To make the maple butter, combine maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30-60 second til butter is melted. Stir and brush each acorn squash slice with the maple butter
- Roast for 35 minutes, until until caramelized and soft. Use half of roasted squash for salad. Reserve other half for alternative use.
- Combine kale, cooled squash, farro grains, quinoa, grapes, blue cheese, apple, and pecan in large salad bowl. Dress with homemade apple cider vinaigrette.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl. Whisk to throughly combine.
- Pour over salad and toss to combine.