Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

By Heartbeet Kitchen

Serving Size: 6

I adore this splendid autumn salad that includes some of Minnesota's very best natural ingredients. Butternut squash works well for this dish because it holds its shape beautifully after being roasted. The combination of nutty wild rice, a simple maple dressing, and fresh herbs are not only delicious together, but their vibrant colors combine to make one stunning dish.

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper (scant)
  • ½ Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  1. Prepare dressing by pureeing all ingredients with an immersion blender or by vigorously whisking.

Ingredients for the Salad:
  • 2 ½ cup peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 ½ cup thinly sliced kale (lightly massaged) or spinach
  • ½ cup thinly sliced leeks, both white and green parts
  • ½ cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3 cup cooked wild rice, warmed

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until fork tender.
  4. In a large bowl, combine spinach, leeks, cherries and basil.
  5. Stir in warm rice and squash so that spinach wilts slightly from the heat.
  6. Stir dressing (recipe above) into salad; taste and adjust salt level if needed.
  7. Serve at room temperature.

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