Harvest Vegetable Salad with Almond Butter-Balsamic Vinaigrette

fullsizeoutput_a7d6fullsizeoutput_a7d7Is anyone else counting down the days until it is officially Fall? Each day, I make a mental note that we are one step closer to one of my favorite seasons (I can never decide if I like Spring or Fall better). I know what you’re thinking: this girl likes vegetables WAY too much. And she had the gumption to add them to a salad? Yes, yes I did, and guess what, it’s damn delicious! There are no rules when it comes to combining foods in recipes – anything goes. And frankly, there are so many seemingly odd combinations that make for the best dishes. It turns out that roasted vegetables and kale are one of those unique combinations, as is balsamic and almond butter, as is a roasted vegetable salad and almond butter-balsamic dressing. You just have to trust me on this one. These ingredients work so harmoniously and might even make you rethink what qualifies as a “classic combination”. Step aside PB&J, there’s a seriously good new combo in town!

This salad is a prelude to Autumn and will get you so excited for all the flavors of fall. With hearty veggies and a tart and tangy dressing, this dish satisfies on so many levels. I also love that this dish is vegetarian, yet high in protein and rich in vitamins! if you are in need of some Meatless Monday inspiration, or have some leftover vegetables you need to put to use, this salad is a perfect way to maximize simple ingredients creatively.

What’s in this Salad:

  • All the veggies: We’ve got the cast of Veggie Tales starring in this dish haha! Hearty Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and butternut squash enrich this salad with vitamins and nutrients and also contribute a variety of textures. 
  • Shredded Kale: Why shredded, you might ask? Texturally, shredded kale much less coarse and is de-stemmed, preventing the awful sensation of chewing a kale stem. Not to mention, with all of the veggie action happening in this dish, the kale should complement and not overpower the star of the show! Shredded kale is easier to eat and texturally, works perfectly in this salad.
  • Almond Butter-Balsamic Vinaigrette: I played around with different variations of this vinaigrette, but this almond butter-based dressing marries beautifully with the roasted veggies and creates the creamiest dressing. Balsamic vinegar adds a molasses-like sweetness that packs a punch and delivers the right amount of acid to balance out the dressing.
  • Slivered Almonds: If you hadn’t already caught on to the theme of this salad, it’s TEXTURE.  Slivered almonds give this salad a nice added crunch and build upon the flavor of the almond butter-balsamic dressing seamlessly.
  • Dried Cranberries: Dried cranberries add just the right touch of sweetness to round out this salad and bring out all the Fall feels harkening back to my days as a sous chef in my great-grandma’s kitchen making the cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving. So, of course, I had to toss them in for sentimental value and to honor the memories that the season conjures.

 

Harvest Vegetable Salad with Almond Butter-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Harvest Vegetable Salad with Almond Butter-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 oz shredded kale
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup butternut squash (cubed into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Almond Butter-Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 2 tbsp water (plus more as needed)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and lining a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Toss the cubed butternut squash, halved brussels sprouts, and cauliflower florets in olive oil so that they are fully coated and add them to the baking sheet. Season lightly with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. As the veggies roast in the oven, prepare the dressing by adding the almond butter, balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, water, garlic, basil, and salt to a food processor. Blend until the dressing appears smooth and creamy. Depending on the consistency of the almond butter, you may need to add 1-2 tbsp. more water to thin out the dressing. Pour the dressing into an airtight container and set aside.
  4. Once the veggies are out of the oven and have cooled for 3-5 minutes, add them to a large bowl with the shredded kale and toss in the dressing. Any remaining dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  5. Plate each portion and top with dried cranberries and slivered almonds. Bon appetit!

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Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 21.8gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 27.1gFiber: 7.5gSugar: 6.8gProtein: 10.2g

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