One thing I love about the change from summer to fall is the warm colours and feelings it brings with it. I love the flavours that autumn brings, which are all incorporated into this awesome and satisfying salad. Roasted, spiced butternut squash is paired with juicy, fresh apples and crunchy walnuts, while the dried cranberries and dates provide a sweet and warming touch. Balsamic Maple Dressing pairs well with this salad, and is one of my favourites as it really ties the fall flavours together, which is why it's included in this salad recipe! Try picking up some maple syrup from a local farmer at the market, or at least make sure you are buying real maple syrup. You can have this salad on a normal autumn day, or add it as a side for a holiday dinner!
Hearty Autumn Maple Salad
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- 3 cups raw butternut squash, peeled and diced in 1cm cubes
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup green lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup walnuts
- 10 dates, chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 fall apples, diced
- 8 oz baby spinach, washed
Maple Balsamic Dressing
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Toss butternut squash in 2 Tbsp coconut oil, cayenne pepper and cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes, flipping occasionally.
- While the butternut squash is roasting, heat 2 Tbsp of coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned.
- Meanwhile, place the rinsed lentils in 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until al dente.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.
- Toss them with the walnuts, dates, dried cranberries, apples and dressing and serve over spinach.
- You can serve Sweet Autumn Salad warm or chilled.
What are your favourite fall flavours? Share them with us in the comments below!