A Fall Power Salad with Butternut Squash, Apples, & Dressing
One of the benefits of shifting from season to season is the new wave of fruits and vegetables to fall in love with! I have sooo many favorites this time of year – so I added them all to this recipe! Who wouldn’t want a Fall Salad with butternut squash, apples, kale and arugula?! ?
When it comes to salads, I prefer a lot of texture and flavor, otherwise I get bored. I really wanted to incorporate complementary ingredients topped with a dressing that is interesting and a little different. Luckily, ANGOSTURA bitters sent me their delicious orange bitters, and let me tell you – it is a GAME CHANGER in a salad dressing.
I’ll be the first to admit that I never thought to use ANGOSTURA aromatic and orange bitters in anything but an Old Fashioned before this, but my mind has been changed! I’m now really excited to try them in savory dishes like meat marinades, and cakes or cookies on the sweet side. Also, how good would orange bitters be in a fresh whipped cream? Or a spiked apple cider? Or both together?! YUM!
Who likes kale?
Kale is one of my favorite salad bases, but no one likes chewing on a huge piece. I usually try to cut it finely and then massage it with my hands a bit to break down the tough structure. This creates a softer texture that’s easier to digest, too. That being said, I recently got the best trick from fellow Chicago blogger, Kai and the Kitchen! She suggested putting the leaves in a food processor… GENIUS. I used my food processor to chop 2 cups of kale pretty finely and then another 4 cups a little rougher. I actually loved having different-sized pieces for a more dynamic base, and the food processor kind of does some of the “massaging” for you!
Instead of just using the ANGOSTURA orange bitters in the dressing, I also added it to my butternut squash before popping it in the oven. A few dashes goes a long way to add lovely, subtle citrus-spiced notes to the squash as it roasts. Such a simple way to elevate a fall vegetable with even more autumnal flavor!
My salad also includes a few other mainstays, including arugula, apples, pumpkin seeds, avocado, and quinoa. That covers sweet, crunchy, healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Talk about a power salad.
When it comes to dressings, I usually stick to some combo of oil, acidity, and sweetness. Since orange bitters pairs so well with honey, I knew it would be the perfect enhancement to a sweet-meets-tangy salad dressing. Plus, a salad with butternut squash and apples could use a little bitterness to balance it out.
We used to stock our bar cart with ANGOSTURA bitters for cocktail night, but now I’m relocating them to my pantry right next to my olive oil, white-wine vinegar, and honey. Sorry Adam!
My favorite part of this recipe might be that it makes three big salads. Want to make it last for lunches all week? Add some chicken (or more quinoa) and you can definitely stretch this recipe.
A Fall Power Salad with Butternut Squash, Apples, & Orange Bitters Dressing
- 6 cups kale (lightly pulsed in a food processor, or chopped)
- 2 cups arugula
- 9 tsp ANGOSTURA orange bitters
- 2.5 cups chopped butternut squash
- 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 apple
- ½ avocado
- 2 tsp honey
- 8 Tbsp olive oil
- 5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- goat or feta cheese (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Peel and cut butternut squash into cubes (or purchase pre-cut at the store) and toss in olive oil, 1 tsp ANGOSTURA orange bitters, salt and pepper. Arrange coated squash on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes.
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
- Wash kale and pull the leaves away from their stems. If you like a chopped salad texture, add the leaves to a food processor and pulse gently until the leaves are your desired size - it doesn't take long! (Warning: depending on the size of your food processor, you might need to do this in stages.) Otherwise, chop manually to your desired size.
- Place kale and arugula into a large mixing bowl.
- Chop apple into small cubes, and slice avocado. Add to mixing bowl, along with pumpkin seeds.
- When the quinoa and butternut squash are finished cooking, let cool, then add to bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, combine 8 tsp orange bitters, 8 Tbsp olive oil, 5 Tbsp white wine vinegar, and 2 tsp honey to make the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until all ingredients are incorporated.
- This dressing will be plenty for the entire salad, so if you're saving a few portions for lunches, separate those into their own individual containers now without dressing so they don't get soggy.
- Toss the portion of salad you are going to eat first in dressing and serve.
Want to remember this Fall Salad with Butternut Squash, Apples, and Orange Bitters Dressing? Pin the image below!
*This post was sponsored by ANGOSTURA bitters, but (as always) all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Lake Shore Lady possible!
PS. You might also like my recipes for The Best Chopped Salad (Portillo’s Knockoff), Spiralized Beet Salad, and Rustic Quinoa Tabouli.