This beautiful fall salad is made with roasted squash, nutritious vegetables, nuts and berries, and is served with a creamy tahini and garlic dressing. Whole30 & Paleo friendly!
While this salad has a bit of an autumnal fair to it, you can make it any time of the year. I do love making it when the weather cools down and there is an abundance of squashes, such as zucchini and sweeter pumpkins.
If winter squashes such as butternut or kabocha/Kent are not in season, you can use roasted sweet potato or carrots instead. I am using toasted almonds and some lovely seeds for the crunch and as a source of healthy fats and protein. You can use whatever nuts and seeds you have on hand.
The same goes for berries. I am using some lovely vitamin C rich red currants but you could add blueberries, raspberries or some diced up peaches or apple.
What’s nice about this salad is that you can pre-roast the pumpkin, onions and garlic ahead of time and assemble the salad itself at a later stage. I often then use the leftover roasted squash to make this beautiful autumnal breakfast. The tahini dressing can also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 7 days. If you don’t have tahini, use some nut or seed butter instead or even a little mayonnaise for creaminess.
For the squash, I recommend using a sweeter type of pumpkin such as Jap or Kent, also known as kabocha squash in the U.S. It has a sweeter, starchier flesh and works well for roasting.
For roasted vegetables
- ½ large kabocha squash (Jap/Kent pumpkin)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of pepper
- 3–4 small red onions, cut in halves
- 1 head of garlic (10–12 cloves, unpeeled)
- Parchment paper + flat baking tray
Tahini garlic dressing
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
- 1 tablespoon light tahini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon honey (omit for Whole30)
For the salad
- 2 cups mixed salad leaves (these go on the bottom)
- ½ cup almonds (skinless or regular), toasted if you like
- 2 medium beets (cooked and vacuum sealed or from a tin), sliced
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- 1 large zucchini, shaved into ribbons using a peeler
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons mixed seeds of choice (I used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds – all part of the salad seed mix I had on hand)
- A handful of berries such as red currants, blueberries or raspberries or pomegranate seeds (sliced peach or apple would also work)
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F. Line a flat baking tray with a piece of parchment paper and set aside.
- Peel the squash and remove the seeds. Cut it into slices and then dice those into medium-sized cubes. I like to leave some of the squash as slices as well, especially if I want to use it in more than just a salad. Add the squash to a large mixing bowl, season with salt, paprika, onion and garlic powders, and pepper, and drizzle with olive. Toss through and transfer onto the baking tray. Scatter the garlic around and add the onion halves. Place the tray in the oven, middle shelf, for 25-30 minutes. Once cooked, remove the tray and let the vegetables to cool slightly.
- While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients and mix together the salad dressing.
- If you want to toast the almonds, heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the nuts for 3-4 minutes, stirring them every 30 seconds or so, until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- I like to assemble this salad on a large platter with all of the key elements grouped separately and the dressing served on the side. Scatter the berries, seeds and herbs all over.
- You can, of course, mix it all in a large bowl or serve the salad in individual bowls. If making the salad ahead of time, make sure to leave the dressing out until service time.