Where I live I am lucky enough to have an amazing year round farmers’ market where I consistently find the best produce and products. Any weekend I am able to make it to the market is automatically a good weekend. It was here at the market that I first laid eyes on the absolutely beautiful, delicious and easy to cook delicata squash. This squash has so much Vitamin A, has an amazing texture (not too firm but not too soft), has a sweet and rich flavor similar to a butternut squash but does not require peeling, and also works well all on its own or as part of a recipe, like this simple harvest salad!
I had originally pictured this recipe being perfect with dried cranberries or golden raisins, but on the particular day I was making this salad I could only find varieties of cranberries and raisins with added oils and sugars which…no thanks. I added an apple instead and honestly it works perfectly. So without further ado, I present to you my simple harvest salad starring delicata squash.
Simple Harvest Salad
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
1 Head of Any Type Of Lettuce or Your Favorite Salad Greens
1 Delicata Squash
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
3 Tbsp Pepitas (if not roasting the delicata seeds)
1 Apple (Honestly any variety works for this!)
3 Oz Prepared Polenta
For the Dressing:
3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Real Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp Water
1/2 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 425. Cut squash ends off and cut the squash down the middle lengthwise.
- Using a metal spoon, scrape out the seeds. If you plan to use the seeds from the squash to roast for the salad, separate them from any squash material, rinse, and pat dry. Place them in an even, single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Lay the squash halves cut side down on the cutting board and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and arrange in a single, even layer on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- If using dried polenta, prepare it according to the package. Once it is prepared and cooled, or if using premade polenta, slice the polenta paper thin. It is okay if they are not perfect in shape. Transfer the thin slices to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray (I use this one and fill it with organic olive oil at home!) and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place the squash and polenta in the oven and let cook for 25 minutes, flipping both half way through. If you are roasting the delicata seeds, place them in the oven now too. These are typically done within 7-10 minutes. Some may “pop” but keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn!
- While everything is roasting in the oven, prepare your dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together. I personally love preparing this dressing by placing all ingredients in a mason jar, sealing the lid and shaking it up! This method allows you to serve your dressing in a cute container and easily store leftovers when you are done.
- Cut your apple in half, remove the seeds and thinly slice.
- Place your cleaned greens and apples in a bowl and pour over enough dressing to coat. Top the salad with the roasted squash, croutons and seeds.
This salad makes an amazing lunch, a perfect side dish or even a light dinner when topped with roasted chicken, salmon or tempeh. If you are feeling really wild, the addition of a smidgen of crumbled blue cheese goes a long way on this salad.