Autumn Kale Salad

*This Autumn Kale Salad combines all of my favorite fall flavors into one hearty, filling, and delicious salad. Caramelized butternut squash, fresh and juicy apples, and creamy goat cheese are topped off with a homemade honey mustard dressing.*

This Autumn Kale Salad features caramelized butternut squash, fresh and juicy apples, and creamy goat cheese - all my favorite fall flavors! | The Millennial Cook #fallrecipe #salad

I feel pretty lucky to work at one of those Bay Area tech companies that offers a plethora of perks to employees. Possibly the most notable? All of the free food that is pretty much constantly available. Seriously, constantly. Not only do we have a kitchen stocked with plenty of snacks, but lunch is catered every day, too. The thinking is that if they’re feeding us, we’ll be less likely to leave the office for an hour-long lunch every day. Although I’m not really sure how all of those afternoon snack breaks factor into productivity…

This Autumn Kale Salad features caramelized butternut squash, fresh and juicy apples, and creamy goat cheese - all my favorite fall flavors! | The Millennial Cook #fallrecipe #salad

Sometimes I get to fantasizing about new recipes (is it weird that this is a normal activity for me?) and I imagine that it might be fun to pack a lunch. Putting together a sandwich or mason jar salad, prepping fresh crudites and hummus on Sunday evening, picking out apples at the farmer’s market for my afternoon snacks. Then I laugh, realizing how annoying and arduous this would probably become if I had to do it every. single. day. So, back to being grateful for the office’s prepared lunches.

This Autumn Kale Salad features caramelized butternut squash, fresh and juicy apples, and creamy goat cheese - all my favorite fall flavors! | The Millennial Cook #fallrecipe #salad

Each day, the caterers provide a hot lunch option plus all of the fixings for a pretty massive salad bar. Lots of different types of lettuce, fresh veggies, feta and blue cheese, plus about ten different types of dressings. When I do choose salad for lunch, I like to go crazy with different combinations. This particular kale salad, however, is a step above, if I do say so myself. I massaged hearty kale with lemon and sea salt for the perfect bitter and tart base, and topped it with all of my favorite sweet and creamy flavors. Roasted butternut squash is perfectly browned and caramelized. Apples offer a sweet and juicy crunch. Pockets of smooth, tangy goat cheese offset all the fresh produce. A homemade honey mustard dressing rounds out this perfect autumn salad!

This Autumn Kale Salad features caramelized butternut squash, fresh and juicy apples, and creamy goat cheese - all my favorite fall flavors! | The Millennial Cook #fallrecipe #salad

Autumn Kale Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

This Autumn Kale Salad combines all of my favorite fall flavors into one hearty, filling, and delicious salad. Caramelized butternut squash, fresh and juicy apples, and creamy goat cheese are topped off with a homemade honey mustard dressing.

  • You could also use a whole butternut squash, and peel and chop it yourself. But buying the prepared version is so much easier.
  • To avoid the hassle of destemming the kale, feel free to buy the bagged version.

Ingredients

For Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For Salad:

  • 12 ounces peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 head kale
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 apple
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Directions

  1. First, to roast butternut squash, preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Spread the squash out on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt, then toss to coat.
  4. Roast squash for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through with a spatula, until softened and browned.
  5. Let squash cool for a few minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, place walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat.
  7. Toast, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown.
  8. Let walnuts cool for a few minutes, then roughly chop.
  9. Grip kale leaves by the end of the stem and run your hand down the stem, removing the leaves from the stem.
  10. Wash and dry them, then thinly slice and transfer to a large bowl.
  11. Top kale with lemon juice and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Using your hands, massage leaves for a couple minutes, until slightly wilted.
  12. Wash apple, then core and chop it.
  13. Finally, to make dressing, stir together honey, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.
  14. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, stirring constantly, until a thick dressing forms.
  15. To assemble salad, top kale with roasted squash, chopped walnuts, chopped apple, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing, then toss salad well.

This Autumn Kale Salad features caramelized butternut squash, fresh and juicy apples, and creamy goat cheese - all my favorite fall flavors! | The Millennial Cook #fallrecipe #salad

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