As kids, we were taught that A is for apples, but there’s another delicious “A” that can enrich your salad vocabulary: acorn squash! You’ll learn just how awesome they are with this Apple & Acorn Squash Salad.
There’s no doubt that apples are truly a salad staple because of their juicy, crunchy, and sweet taste. With acorn squash, you get an extra dose of sweetness as this brightly colored gourd has a mild flavor that pairs nicely with apples, especially when caramelized. Not only is this combination nutritious, but their different textures and complementary flavors can enliven any salad regardless of the season.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg; this Apple & Acorn Squash Salad also has kale, cranberries, pecans, and Brussels sprouts. Contrary to popular belief, Brussels sprouts are not at all bitter when cooked and prepared the right way. For this recipe, the Brussels sprouts are blanched, which will bring out their mildly sweet flavor.
Tempering the blend of sweetness are cranberries, which are versatile in their boldness and tartness. The robust and earthy kale lends a hearty crispness, while the sweet and buttery flavor of pecans fit in perfectly with the apple and acorn squash combo.
Now for the dressing — a pumpkin goddess dressing! Mildly sweet and savory, pumpkin puree’ easily mixes well with sour cream and Greek yogurt. There’s also your quintessential olive oil for that distinct olive taste and smooth texture that brings out the best in every salad dressing. A bit of maple syrup really gives you a thick consistency, but there’s champagne vinegar to lighten things up with its delicate, even slightly floral taste that has hints of vanilla. Some minced garlic, salt, and ground cinnamon cap off your pumpkin goddess dressing with varying degrees of spice.
Now you know why this Apple & Acorn Squash Salad gets an A+ in my book!Print
Apple & Acorn Squash Salad
This amazing Apple & Acorn Squash Salad is all at once smooth, sweet, and sumptuous — truly an A+ dish!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Salads & Dressings
- Pumpkin Goddess Dressing
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree’ (or canned pumpkin)
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Apple and Acorn Squash Salad
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 apple, diced into small cubes
- 1 bunch of kale (about 3/4 pound) chopped
- 1/2 pound blanched Brussels sprouts slice in half and bottoms removed (feel free to add more)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- For the pumpkin goddess dressing: Process all the ingredients in a blender until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the salad: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- Slice the squash lengthwise, remove the seeds, and slice horizontally into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Place the sliced squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss the squash to coat. Then arrange in a single layer.
- Bake the squash for about 20 minutes (or until tender and caramelized), flipping halfway through baking.
- While the squash is baking, chop the kale and add it to a bowl with a splash of lemon juice, then massage the kale by hand and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This will tenderize the fresh kale.
- Once the squash has cooled, remove the skin and cut it into bite-size pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl. Add the kale, Brussels sprouts, apple, pecans, and cranberries. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss gently to mix. Serve immediately.
- To blanch the Brussels sprouts: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the halved Brussels sprouts and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the sprouts and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the Brussels sprouts, add them to the skillet, and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 3 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Have you tried this Apple & Acorn Squash Salad salad? How did you like the dressing?