While salads are not traditionally thought of during the fall, this hearty recipe is the epitome of a fall-time salad! It's packed with figs, squash, candied walnuts, and kale and topped with a delicious vinaigrette.
Remove the stem and cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and pith. Slice halves into ½-inch pieces and place them on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, rub with hands to coat evenly, and place in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper.
1 delicata squash
Roast in the preheated oven until golden and beginning to caramelize, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
For the walnuts
Preheat oven to 425°F.
On a baking sheet, combine the walnuts, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt. Toss to evenly combine and spread to a single layer.
1 ½ cups walnuts, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp brown sugar, ¾ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp salt
Place in the oven and watch closely until the sugars begin to caramelize and the nuts are toasted, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir occasionally while cooling to separate the pieces.
For the salad
In a large salad bowl or a small jar, combine the shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine. Continue to whisk and slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream.
2 tbsp minced shallot, 1 clove garlic, 3 tsp Dijon mustard, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, ½ cup olive oil
Add the kale and toss to coat. Using hands, massage the kale slightly to tenderize. This can be done up to five hours before serving.
2 bunches kale
When ready to serve, add the prepared squash, figs, walnuts, and feta cheese.