This warm fall salad with orange vinaigrette is delicious, healthy, and filling! You can totally serve this as a first course, or eat it for lunch. I love the combo of ingredients in this salad. You have peppery greens, tangy cheese, sweet squash and cranberries, and a bright orange champagne vinaigrette. YUM!
Fall produce make great ingredients for salads, and I like that most of them have long shelf lives! Because they last so long, I usually keep at least one on hand at all times during the fall. If you leave a squash like an acorn squash or butternut squash whole, they can last for weeks, and sometimes even over a month!
To make this orange champagne vinaigrette, I used Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar. I learned about this vinegar from What’s Gaby Cooking, and MAN am I happy it is in my life! This stuff is liquid gold. But, if you can’t get your hands on some, you can totally make this dressing with a champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar, and you can add a orange juice, (or not.)
warm fall salad with orange champagne vinaigrette
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 1 acorn squash
- 1/4 c maple syrup
- 1 1/2 T salt, divided
- 1 t pepper, divided
- 1 ear of corn, or 1 cup of frozen (thawed) or canned corn
- 10 oz arugula, or spring greens
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 c dried cranberries
orange champagne vinaigrette
- 1/4 c orange champagne vinegar, champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar with a splash or orange juice also works
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 1/2 t minced garlic, or 1/4 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Heat a skillet over medium low and add the butter. Allow butter to melt. You can definitely melt the butter in the microwave, or in a small pot, but this will save you from dirtying another dish. Once melted, remove the skillet from the heat, and set aside.
Slice the acorn squash: Cut off the top and bottom, and then cut the acorn squash in half from top to bottom. Take each half, and scoop all of the seeds and strings with a melon baller or a spoon. With the flat side down, cut the squash into 1 inch slices, and lay in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, about 3 T of the melted butter, 1 T salt, and 1/2 t pepper. Brush the squash slices on both sides with syrup mixture.
Roast the squash in the oven for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through the roasting time. Allow the squash to cool a little for 5 minutes until assembling the salad.
While the squash roasts, roast the corn. If using a fresh ear of corn, cut the kernels from the cob. Take the skillet that should now have about 1 T of butter in it, and place over medium heat. Add the corn, 1/2 T salt, and 1/2 t pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the corn is roast and starting to brown, about 5-8 minutes.
Make the salad dressing. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil, and whisk again. Set aside.
Assemble the salad. Lay arugula or greens in a large bowl or platter. Place sliced acorn squash on top. Sprinkle corn, goat cheese, and cranberries all over. Dress with the salad dressing and serve immediately.