Warm Fall Salad with Walnut Maple Dressing

This hearty salad makes a really good warm lunch on a chilly fall day, or can also be served at a lovely brunch.

Warm Fall Salad with Walnut Maple Dressing

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients:

for the salad:

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • arils from 1  pomegranate
  • 2-3 handfuls arugula
  • 1 red onion, sliced

for the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons walnut vinegar
  • 1/8 cup walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place the lentils in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add the water a pinch of salt and the bay leaves.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook the lentils until soft but to mushy.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C.
  5. Peel the butternut squash and cut into bite sized cubes.
  6. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the cubes and place on a cooky sheet prepared with baking parchment.
  7. Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. (Alternatively, you can steam the butternut squash).
  8. When the lentils are cooked remove from the heat, drain off any excess water and place in a large salad bowl
  9. Clean and spin dry the arugula and remove and extra long stem ends.
  10. Slice the red onion.
  11. Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan and chop.
  12. Remove the arils from 1 pomegranate. This is does easiest by slicing in half, then scoring where the white membrane is. Place the half of the pomegranate in a bowl of water and gently ease the arils from the membranes. The arils will sink to the bottom and the membranes will float .
  13. Place the dressing ingredients i a blender and pulse to a smooth dressing consistency.
  14. When the squash pieces are golden brown remove from the oven and add to the lentils.
  15. Gently mix in the arugula, most of the red onion slices and the walnuts.
  16. Core the apple and slice or chop and add to the salad.
  17. Pour some of the dressing over and gently mix all together.
  18. Sprinkle the pomegranate arils on top along with the rest of the red onion slices, some apple slices and a few walnut pieces.
  19. Serve the salad warm with extra dressing on the side.


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