Autumn Salad with Caramelized Squash & Maple Vinaigrette


Embrace the flavors of fall in their entirety in this one giant festive bowl. Seriously… it’s got it all: caramelized squash, toasted pecans, juicy figs and even maple syrup! Each fork full of this seasonal salad yields a better bite than the last—in fact, referring to this dish as a salad is an almost understatement. Visually appealing as well, it’ll make a beautiful centerpiece for your autumn feast!

If you can’t find delicata squash in your area, simply substitute with acorn squash to make this colorful fall salad.

Homemade Autumn Salad with Caramelized Squash & Maple Vinaigrette |

1 delicata squash, seeded & cut into 1/4-in. rounds
1 bag organic arugula
6-7 figs, stems removed & sliced in half
1/2 cup NOW Real Food™ Raw Pecans, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 onion, sliced into 1/4-in. rings
2 avocados, sliced
1 Tbsp. Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar
2 Tbsp. Vitacost Organic Coconut Oil, divided
Salt & pepper to taste

Maple Vinaigrette
1 tbsp. Vitacost Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp. Vitacost Organic Maple Syrup
3 tbsp. California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange oven on baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes or until fragrant (Note: Keep an eye on them as they can burn easily). Remove pecans from oven and set aside to cool.

2. Heat large skillet over medium and add 1 Tbsp. coconut oil. Once melted, add onion rings and cook until golden brown and tender—about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

3. Add remaining coconut oil and let melt. Add squash rounds and sprinkle with a bit of coconut sugar on each side to help caramelize. Cook until slices are a beautiful golden caramel color—about 3-5 minutes—on each side.

4. In medium bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly pour olive oil in a thin, steady stream to fully incorporate and emulsify into a dressing.

5. In large serving bowl, toss arugula with half the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste. Add sliced figs, chopped cucumber, avocado slices, toasted pecans, caramelized squash and onions. Drizzle on remaining dressing and serve right away.