Harvest Salad with Tahini Poppy Seed Dressing

Roasted delicata squash, apples, red onion, feta cheese, and walnuts are added to a salad base of kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green and red cabbage, then finished with the perfect tahini poppy seed dressing.

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You guys, I’m so excited to share this recipe with you! I know with the colder weather coming (finally for us here in Texas), salad doesn’t always sound like the most comforting food, but this one is! It hits all the flavor notes of fall/winter, is satisfying and filling, and is just so amazingly tasty. Using leafy greens and hardier veggies as the base and adding roasted squash and apples makes this salad super comforting, healthy, and filling. I’m proud to say, this is one of those recipes that turned out so much better than expected. I’m sitting here eating the salad as I write this post, and I’ve said “oh my gosh this is so good” at least 4 times in the past 15 minutes. I’ll be honest and say that some of the things I make do NOT turn out well. Not to brag or anything, but this one’s definitely a winner!

Salads are such wonderful things because they’re healthy (literally a bunch of vegetables thrown in a bowl), the prep work is minimal, there are so many different directions you can go, and what you choose to add (or not) is so flexible. (Total side note, but I’ve been asked “if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” and I always answer that with “salad.” I love all the unhealthy and gluttonous foods, but practically speaking, it would be salad, hands down). With the holidays coming, you’ll be going to a lot of events, potlucks, etc. Usually no one wants to bring salad because who wants to eat salad on Thanksgiving or Christmas when there’s piles of potatoes and pumpkin pie? But salad is always on the list of things to bring because we all need to feel better about being major gluttons. For whatever event you have, you should volunteer to bring the salad, bring this harvest salad, and you’ll blow everyone’s mind- they may even choose it over the mac & cheese *GASP*

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SALAD GREENS. You can wash and prepare your pick of veggies for the salad greens, but I just bought a 10oz bag of pre-washed and cut/shredded veggies. I went for the sturdier, leafier greens. The bag I chose contains kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and red and green cabbage. Again, you can make your own mix, but I’d suggest using similar types of veggies – the texture is great for this salad, and they hold up better with all the toppings and dressing.

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DELICATA SQUASH. Have you ever had one? If you read my Kabocha Squash Porridge post, you know how much I adore squash. This was actually my first time working with delicata squash, but I’d say it’s kind of a mix between spaghetti squash and butternut squash in flavor. The texture is what you’d expect from a squash – soft, meaty, creamy, yummy… The skin of the delicata squash is edible, too. Why did I choose this squash over the other ones? I’ll answer that question with another question. Why would you pass up an opportunity to eat something that’s naturally shaped like a flower?

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TOPPINGS. I chose to add diced apples, walnuts, feta, and red onion to the salad as well. These seemed appropriate for a salad that we’re trying to make cozy and comforting. And let me tell you, the flavors and textures of all these toppings were literal perfection. The crisp and sweet apples, crunchy and nutty walnuts, sharp feta, and spicy and pungent red onion meld so well together.

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DRESSING. Remember my Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes where I discovered the amazingness of tahini? And my Grapefruit Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies that are the epitome of a tea party? Well, I had some tahini and poppy seeds available, so I decided to combine the two and make this tahini poppy seed salad dressing. Boy am I a genius! This dressing is seriously magical, and it will make even salad-haters love salad!

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Like I mentioned earlier, this is a great dish to bring to any potluck. Why? You can make it ahead of time, you can feel good about making everyone a little healthier, and it is so freaking delicious. I like to dress my greens, add half the toppings and toss the salad. Then I add the rest of the toppings on top for it to look nice and pretty! This particular mix of greens actually benefits from sitting in the dressing for a bit- it softens up the tough greens, and the flavors really get a chance to meld and become extra delicious.

This recipe can be for about 4-6 appetizer-sized salad servings. I am able to consume absurdly large volumes of food, so I ended up eating almost the whole thing as one dinner serving. The only reason I didn’t eat the whole thing is because I gave a little bowl of it to a friend. Feel free to double, triple, or quadruple this recipe to make a huge salad to share, or just make a lot of it for yourself (meal prep)!

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Enjoy this beautifully delicious and nutritious harvest salad! Hugs & kisses and all my best wishes to you for this holiday season!

Harvest Salad with Tahini Poppy Seed Dressing
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 10-oz bag of salad mix
  2. 1 delicata squash
  3. 1 medium apple, diced
  4. 1/4 cup feta cheese*
  5. 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  6. 1/4 cup walnuts
  7. 3 tbsp tahini
  8. 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  9. 1-1/2 tbsp honey*
  10. 1 tsp poppy seeds
  11. 1 tsp garlic powder
  12. 1 tsp salt
  13. 1/2 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Roast the delicata squash. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half width-wise. Remove all seeds using a spoon. Slice squash (about 1/4 inch slices). Spread on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil (or spray with cooking spray) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping once. Squash is done with slightly browned and fork tender.
  2. While squash is roasting, make the dressing. Mix tahini, rice wine vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add water 1/4 tsp at a time if necessary to thin out the dressing.
  3. Prepare the toppings. Dice the apple, crumble the feta cheese, thinly slice the red onion, and roughly chop the walnuts.
  4. Mix salad greens, dressing, and half of the toppings together in a large bowl. Arrange remaining toppings nicely* (see note). Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *Please feel free to just mix everything together if you don't care to arrange the other half of the toppings for presentation's sake.
  2. *omit feta cheese and honey for vegan option
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