Farm to Feast: Autumn Harvest Salad with Pear Balsamic Vinaigrette

salad
salad

This is a hybrid of a salad dressing recipe favorite of mine and the perfect pairing of fall flavors. I have used Cranberry Pear Balsamic here, but any balsamic, flavored or not would work, as well as a sherry or champagne vinegar.

Ingredients:

5 oz clamshell container of baby kale

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

olive oil

1/2 tsp fresh chopped thyme

1/2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary

Roasted Pepitas (Pumpkin seeds)

3 ounces sliced manchego cheese

For the vinaigrette:

1 firm pear, diced into 1/4 pieces

1/4 cup vinegar (balsamic, champagne or sherry)

2 tbsp diced shallots

1 1/2 tsp sugar

2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp soy sauce

freshly ground pepper

kosher salt

1/2 cup olive oil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°.

Toss butternut squash with 2 tbsp olive oil, thyme, rosemary and salt and pepper.

Roast for 20 - 25 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, add pear, vinegar, sugar, shallots, rosemary and pepper into a small saucepan or skillet. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 5 minutes, or until pear is tender.

Transfer to a blender. Add the mustard and soy sauce. Puree until combined. Add vinegar while the motor is running. Blend for 30 seconds or until combined.

Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the baby kale leaves and butternut squash. Add dressing and toss. Serve with the sliced manchego cheese and pepitas. You can also add grilled chicken. Enjoy!

(Salad dressing will last in the fridge for up to a week.)