I was debating whether or not to make a salad or soup for the blog this week... This harvest themed salad just kept popping into my head, so here we are!
Some of my favorite fall foods are roasted squash, pumpkin seeds, and roasted beets. (Diced Honeycrisp apples might also be a good addition to this as well, but my husband would have thrown a fit, so... I'll live vicariously through you if you add them.) I was running out of room on the actual salad, so I decided to toss the beets in the blender and make a vinaigrette from them. SO GOOD! It's thick and creamy, slightly tangy, and a touch sweet all while being healthy and packed full of nutrients!
This salad DOES have a fairly long list of ingredients to prep, but it's worth it! Once you have the mis en place assembled, it comes together really fast, I promise. I actually roasted the beets and garlic on one sheet pan (each wrapped individually in foil) and the butternut squash on another pan all in a 425 degree oven. The squash took 20 minutes. The beets and garlic were in there for forty. Simple!
- 1 small (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled and large diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Seeds from the squash (or 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- 1 Head Boston Bibb Lettuce
- 4 oz mixed greens (baby kale, spinach, salad greens -anything you have works)
- 8 ounces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled and quartered
- 1 c cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, medium dice
- 2 cups cooked steak, cut into thin strips
- 1 avocado, large diced
- 2 oz crispy roasted fava beans (I used these from Nuttee Bean Co.- they're one of my favorite snacks. High protein, high fiber, vegan, and delicious!)
- 2 small beets, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic (roasted at the same time as the beets)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425. Spread the squash out in a single layer and toss with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
(This would be a good time to roast the beets and garlic if you don't have them already roasted.)
When the veggies come out of the oven, set the squash aside. On the same sheet pan, toss the seeds with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and toss them in the 435 oven for 10 minutes, or until crispy.
Spread your chopped lettuce and greens in a thin layer on a large serving tray or sheetpan. (I couldn't find a serving dish long enough to show all the salad layers, so I went with the sheetpan myself.)
Starting on one end of the lettuce, spread the salad topping ingredients over the top in rows.
Toss the roasted beets, garlic cloves, the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt in the blender. Blend until smooth. If it's too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it's a smooth and pourable consistency. Set this on the side of the salad and enjoy!
I will also add that while this salad feeds four, my husband and I ate 2/3 of it. He took the remaining third to work with him. It holds up fairly well as far as salads go and makes great leftovers!