I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. This salad is pretty awesome. As I’m sure you know by now, I’m a huge fan of the meal salad, and this one definitely falls into that category. It’s inspired by the incredible salad I had at Avoca cafe in Belfast, which I mentioned in my first travel post last month. The base ingredients are almost the same, with the addition of some almonds for crunch and some goji berries for sweetness, but the dressing is all my own. This is an incredibly hearty, satisfying, and flavourful salad that will leave you feeling full but not overly stuffed – just perfect for this cool fall weather we’ve been having. And it’s pretty.
I made myself a single portion, since I was all on my lonesome craving something exciting happening with my greens, and I needed some cooked butternut squash for an upcoming veggie burger recipe anyway (which I am SO excited for!). The leftover rapini I just sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic for an easy side to go with dinner. Two (and a half) dishes prepped in one go! I’m looking out for you, I promise!
The dressing isn’t vegan because of the honey, but substituting maple syrup is an easy fix to that, and removing the feta won’t make a huge difference either.
If you want to make this a single portion like you see below, use just a handful or two of spinach, a handful of cubed squash, and 1/4 cup quinoa. For the dressing, either make the full recipe and save it in the fridge for future salad good times, or divide everything by four.
By the way, I am SO excited over the purchase of this plate! How cute, right? Conor and I went to Ikea the other day and I went a little nuts buying bowls and other things to use for the blog. I was in such a funk before we went, it’s incredible what a couple of kitchen accessories can do to bring a smile to my face.
Harvest Salad with Tahini-Mustard Dressing (serves 4)
~ Gluten free, soy free, refined sugar free, vegan option ~
For the salad
- 1/2 small butternut squash, roasted and cubed
- coconut oil
- sea salt and pepper
- 4-6 big handfuls baby spinach
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 bunch rapini, steamed and cut in half
- broccoli sprouts
- feta cheese (optional)
- slivered almonds
- goji berries
For the dressing
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp mustard
- 2 tsp honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
- orange zest (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and rub with a little bit of coconut oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Roast for about 45 minutes, until fork tender. Set aside to cool before cutting into 1 inch cubes. You only need about half of the squash for the salad, though you’re welcome to use the whole thing. You can puree the other half to use for baking in place of pumpkin puree, or just eat it as is.
- In the meantime, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and either steam over a double boiler or boil the rapini for about 5-8 minutes, until tender. Drain and immediately set in the ice bath. While this step isn’t absolutely necessary, it ensures the rapini stays a nice, bright green.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. It will thicken up pretty quickly, so don’t worry if you have to spoon (rather than pour) it out.
- In a large serving bowl, add your baby spinach, followed by the quinoa, rapini, and sprouts. Top with the butternut squash and feta, and then sprinkle with the almonds and goji berries. Add your dressing, toss well, and serve immediately.