This salad is like a celebration. It is bright, colorful and sings everything that is autumn to me. The earthy rosemary, kale, and brussel sprouts tame the sweetness of the apples and squash and it all comes together with an acidic kick of maple shallot vinaigrette. It has amazing staying power and makes a hefty amount, keeping good in the fridge for a few days. This is the salad I can eat for days on end in the fall and winter, mixing up the veggies for other roasted delights (cauliflower! Sweet potatoes!), and subbing in a pear if that is what is on hand. I love the heartiness and versatility of this salad, satiating enough to stand on its own -- the star of the show.
I like to prep my greens in advance and stick them in the fridge until I’m ready to bring this salad together. To be honest, I prep everything in fits and starts these days as my lovely little 3 month old keeps me on my toes and its hard to finish a project in one go. Roast the squash when you get a chance. Mix up that dressing during a break in your day and bring it all together in the evening. Smile to yourself, gleaming at what a pretty and nourishing creation you’ve made.
1 head of kale
1 pound of brussel sprouts
⅓ cup pepitas and/or walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1-2 apples, sliced (1 if very large!)
1 shallot lobe, sliced
4 cups of roasted squash
½ cup feta, optional
Caramelized maple shallot vinaigrette
2 cup olive oil
1 whole shallot, both lobes if there are two
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple
2 teaspoons thyme or rosemary
Pinch of aleppo or red pepper flakes
Hefty pinch of kosher or sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Trim the tough bottom of the brussel sprouts off. Slice in half from top to bottom, turn over on side and finely slice. Place in bowl. Remove rib from kale and fine slice leaves, add to bowl with brussels.
Cube squash if its a red kuri, kabocha, or butternut (peel if its a butternut!). You can also wedge squash which will work particularly well for a robin’s koginut, black futsu, or acorn. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay out over a baking sheet. Roast at 400 F for 20-40 minutes until nicely browned and soft when pricked with a fork, but not falling apart. Flip and rotate halfway through.
While the squash is cooking make the dressing. Turn a pan to medium low and carmelize the shallots for a few minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and thyme or rosemary. Add salt, pepper and aleppo. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking, making sure it has that nice zing to it.
Add apples, shallots, and squash to bowl with kale and brussels. Toss salad with half of vinaigrette and let sit for 10 minutes. Taste and if it needs more dressing, add more. Top with seeds and nuts and feta, if you wish.