Autumn Salad with Caramelized Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

autumn salad

This autumn salad is like a colorful display of fall leaves. It is a visual feast. The bright contrasting colors of the caramelized golden acorn squash, the salad greens, yellow-green avocado, and the scarlet pomegranate arils bathed in a pomegranate and ginger vinaigrette firmly establishes that fall and cool temps have finally arrived.

There are many variations of this autumn salad available online. My friend Carol, shared this recipe with me years ago. She prepared this autumn salad for our annual girl’s trip to the beach in October. It was perfect for a whole meal salad as it is hearty, healthy, and flavorful.

A medium-size acorn squash should be enough for 4 -6 servings. The acorn squash is sautéed in coconut oil which adds flavor and then caramelized with brown sugar.
The toasted pecans add a nice crunch as well as fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin A.
Any combination of salad greens will work. Try a combination of spring mix, some arugula, and butter lettuce. Maybe your local farmer’s market has some fresh salad greens at the market now. Strive for different shades of green and flavors from bitter to buttery. The avocado and the cucumber will also add an additional variety of shades of green and texture.

The tart pomegranate paired with spicy ginger and apple cider vinegar combined with a little extra virgin olive oil results in a perfectly balanced vinaigrette that enhances the full flavors of the fall vegetables.

I like to display the salad ingredients as a composed salad on a platter. You can also choose to mix all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. If using a platter, I begin with the lettuce mixed with pomegranate arils and pecans as my foundational layer. Then I artfully arrange the caramelized squash, avocado slices, and cucumbers on top. The dressing can be divided by tossing the salad greens with half of the vinaigrette and then drizzling the remainder of the vinaigrette over the squash and other veggies. Welcome fall!!

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