Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

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.


  • 0.25 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 0.5 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper (scant)
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  1. Prepare dressing by pureeing all ingredients with an immersion blender or by vigorously whisking.


  • 0.25 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 0.5 cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
  • 0.5 cup thinly sliced leeks, both white and green parts
  • 2.5 cup thinly sliced kale (lightly massaged) or spinach
  • black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2.5 cup peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
  • 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.

For the full post, visit Heartbeet Kitchen.