This fall harvest salad with apple cider vinaigrette is comforting, filling, colorful, and tastes absolutely amazing.!
It combines so many great textures and autumn flavors: roasted butternut squash, crunchy pecans and pumpkin seeds, crumbled feta cheese, sweet cranberries, crispy apples, nutty quinoa and hearty kale.
You start by roasting the butternut squash in the oven for 20 minutes until it becomes tender, in the meantime you cook the quinoa, and prepare the vinaigrette.
The apple cider vinaigrette comes together in 2 minutes, just pour the ingredients into a jar and shake! Royal apples are sweet and aromatic, feel free to replace them with the variety you prefer. You can peel the apples or leave the peel on.
Kale can be tough and bitter. By massaging the leaves with olive oil, you can bring out their sweetness and make it more tender and digestible. Also, don’t forget to rinse the quinoa before cooking to get rid of the bitterness.
I served this salad as a main course for lunch, but it could easily become a side dish. You can even prepare it ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days.
Check out the colors in this gorgeous bowl, don’t you want to dive right in?
If you try this fall harvest salad with apple cider vinaigrette let me know what you think! Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture and share it on my Facebook page or tag it #aseasyasapplepie on Instagram!
Fall Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Fall harvest salad with apple cider vinaigrette - all my favorite autumn flavors come together in this vegetarian and gluten free salad!
- For the fall harvest salad:
- 1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded, and diced into 1.5 cm (1/2-inch) cubes
- 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 190 grams (1 cup) uncooked quinoa
- 480 grams (2 cups) water
- 120 grams (2 cups) chopped kale leaves
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) dried cranberries
- 30 grams (1/3 cup) chopped pecans
- 50 grams (1/3 cup) crumbled fat-free feta cheese
- 2 small Royal Gala apple diced into 1.5 cm (1/2-inch) cubes
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- For the apple cider vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C (392 degrees F).
In a large bowl, toss the cubed butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Spread it out in a single even layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the butternut is tender.
Rinse the quinoa and drain. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with water and bring to a boil uncovered.
When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy.
Put the chopped kale in a medium bowl with 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Use your hands to massage the leaves by lightly scrunching them in your hands. Release and repeat until the leaves soften and the color changes a bit.
Prepare the apple cider vinaigrette: mix all the ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake well until combined.
In a large mixing bowl, add the quinoa, kale, apples, cranberries, pecan, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds, pour the dressing, toss and serve.
Enjoy this delicious fall harvest salad!
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