While everyone is getting excited about pumpkin spice lattes and apple pie, we're all suited up to make a hearty fall salad that doubles as a perfect leftover lunch. With a crunchy kale base and mix-ins ranging from roasted root veggies, tart apples, toasted nuts, and Pecorino cheese, this salad is far from shy on flavor. Get creative with your components and rely on seasonal fall produce to make a satisfying, healthy meal that will only taste better the next day.
If you’re like most of us here at Cooking Light, you probably spent the summer eating your weight in caprese, watermelon, and berry salads. As the leaves transition to warm golden hues, it's time to trade in your go-to summer salads for a hearty autumn salad that features this season’s produce.
A good fall salad should combine roasted root vegetables, cozy spices, toasted nuts, and a kick of sweet fruit all atop a bed of crunchy kale. We even sprinkled in some farro for added whole grains, but you can add your favorite cooked grain of choice.
Unlike summer salads that are best served immediately (and ideally poolside), we think a good fall salad should get better with age. Make a huge bowl at the beginning of the week, and keep it covered in your fridge so you can have it day after day. The kale holds up against the components of the salad without becoming wilted, soggy, or sad. The warm spices of the vegetables slowly blend, and the tart, fruit flavors disperse themselves throughout each bite.
In this particular fall salad, we used butternut squash, apples, dried cranberries, farro, toasted walnuts, and pecorino cheese. However, some great fall salad components that we didn’t use that would make for great substitutions are sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, beets, acorn squash, turnips, pomegranate seeds, and Parmesan cheese. Basically, use what is in season, what you have on hand, and most importantly, what you like.