I finally got some apples at a decent price. Not a good price, but a manageable price anyway. Butternut squash was also on sale this week, so I decided to combine the two into this beautifully colored Autumn Harvest Salad to stretch them out and enjoy them all week.
This Autumn Harvest Salad takes my favorite salad formula (grain + green + sweet + salty + dressing) and throws a sort of autumn theme on it. I used bulgur for the grain because I had it on hand, but you could sub quinoa, rice, cous cous, or just about any other small grain. I used parsley for the greens because it’s super cheap and I find the flavor to be neutral and very friendly to other flavors. Apples give the salad a sweet-tart flavor, and a little hit of feta gives it a nice salty contrast. The butternut squash falls somewhere in the middle, providing body and a nice creamy, mild flavor. I made a simple homemade honey lemon dressing to go along with the sweet-tart theme, pull the flavors together, and give the salad a little moisture. It’s nom-a-licious! (And OMG so pretty.)
If you have a little wiggle room in your budget and want to take the Autumn Harvest Salad a step further, you can try adding a few dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans, or even some pepitas. The more texture and flavor in a salad, the better! (IMHO, anyway) ;)
Autumn Harvest Salad
- 2.5 lb butternut squash ($2.50)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
- Salt and pepper ($0.05)
- 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur ($0.87)
- 2 fuji apples (about 1 lb.) ($1.97)
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley ($0.45)
- 2 oz feta, crumbled ($1.12)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
- 1.5 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.06)
- 1 Tbsp honey ($0.12)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1/16 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- Freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the butternut squash using a vegetable peeler. Cut off each end of the squash, then slice it open lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then cut the remaining squash into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Toss the squash cubes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the seasoned cubes out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until soft and golden. Allow the squash to cool.
- While the squash is cooking, begin cooking the bulgur according to the package directions (1/2 cup bulgur + 1 cup water, boil for 15-20 minutes or until tender). Fluff the cooked bulgur with a fork and allow it to cool in the refrigerator.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, garlic powder, and some freshly cracked pepper.
- Remove the cores from the apples and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Pull the parsley leaves from the stems and give them a rough chop.
- Add the parsley, apples, cooled squash and bulgur, and crumbled feta to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and toss until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing.
Autumn Harvest Salad
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start with one butternut squash (about 2.5 lbs.). Cut off each end, then stand it on one of the flat cut ends and slice down through the center to cut it in half. Scrape out those seeds with a spoon, then peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler.
You want 1/2 inch cubes so that it roasts fairly quickly, so slice each half into 1/2 inch strips, then cut the strips into cubes.
Toss the squash cubes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, some salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Spread them out onto a baking sheet (I covered mine with parchment for easy cleanup), then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Or until they’re tender and a little golden. Let the squash cool.
While the squash is cooking, you can cook the bulgur, or whatever grain you choose to include in your salad. I used 1/2 cup of uncooked bulgur, which yielded about 2 cups once cooked and fluffed. I followed the package directions, which said to combine 1 part bulgur to 2 parts water (1/2 cup bulgur, 1 cup water), and boil for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
Once cooked, I fluffed it with a fork and then let it cool in the refrigerator.
Prepare the dressing, so the flavors have a little time to blend. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1.5 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp honey, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/16 tsp garlic powder (I just estimated 1/2 of my 1/8 tsp measure), and some freshly cracked pepper.
Remove the cores and cut two apples into cubes. I used Fuji apples, which have a nice tartness. The two apples together were about one pound.
Pull the leaves from about 1/2 bunch of parsley, then give them a rough chop. You can actually use as much or as little parsley as you’d like. This ingredient is very flexible.
Take two ounces of feta and crumble it into small pieces. I buy these 8oz. blocks, which are really easy to cut into four equal, 2 oz. pieces. I’ll be freezing the rest so that I don’t mindlessly snack on it. I’d like to have it available for another recipe later!
Add the chopped parsley (it’s hiding on the bottom), cooled squash, cooled bulgur, cubed apples, and feta to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and then toss until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing.
And then you’re done! And it’s pretty and equally as delicious. <3 salads!
P.S. This would be amazing served along side Herb Roasted Pork Loin!