Making colorful and flavorful salads at home does not have to be complicated – especially now that the holidays are coming! When putting together a salad, think about two things: the type of flavors you want and the ingredients you have at home. There is no need to stress about going to the grocery store or being wasteful. If you don’t have pecans, substitute them for almonds or cashews; if you don’t have butternut squash, use sweet potato or whatever you can find at the market! This sweet and salty combination is addictive and whether you eat this salad’s components tossed over a bed of massaged kale or some leafy romaine, you won’t be left feeling hungry.

fleet salad
Photo retrieved from: http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/10/sweet-and-salty-fall-harvest-salad/

Ingredients:
6 cups chopped kale
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1/2 – 1 apple cut in cubes
6oz. of brie cheese

For the butternut squash:
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

For the candied pecans:
½ cup pecan halves
2 tbsp cane sugar
½ tbsp butter

For the honey-lemon vinaigrette:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey (can be substituted with agave)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Spread the squash out on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil then sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, toss the squash, and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, tossing periodically until the squash is browned and softened.
  2. While the squash roasts, make the candied pecan clusters. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Heat the butter and brown sugar over medium heat in a medium nonstick pan until bubbling. Toss the pecans into the butter-sugar mixture until coated. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar liquifies and turns a dark amber color. Pour the pecans out onto parchment paper and spread them out with a rubber spatula. Allow them to cool completely before breaking them up into clusters.
  3. While the pecans are cooling, combine olive oil, honey, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste in a small mason jar or bowl. Shake or stir to combine the honey lemon vinaigrette.While waiting for the butternut squash to finish roasting, wash, dry, and chop kale and place in a large bowl.
  4. When the butternut squash is done, add the candied pecans, cranberries, cubed apples and brie to the salad. Then toss the butternut squash cubes on top and add the honey-lemon vinaigrette to the large bowl.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!