festive arugula salad

It seems like all summer long, I crave salads; it turns into a salad a day kind of season. Farmer’s market is loaded with all kinds of veggies that are fresh, delicious, and just asking to be tossed in a bog bowl, dressed up nicely, and enjoyed in the sun. But what happens when the temperatures drop, the strawberries, beets, and cucumbers are no longer in season, and nothing sounds better than a hearty warm foods? I find myself going weeks without a salad, but we can all use a little raw green veg in our lives. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, and all kinds of hearty recipes on the menu, I knew I needed to come up with something fresh, delicious, and fitting for Fall. So, I set out to create a salad that could hold its own against the delicious fresh summer salads, while still staying true to the season and all the flavors that make this time of year great.

If you know me at all, you know how obsessed I am with buying local, organic, and seasonal all year round. Though it’s easy to simply go to the store and buy whatever produce you want shipped over from Mexico, this is not necessarily good for your health, the planet, or the local farmers who depend on you to keep their sustainable practices going.  Not to mention, the flavors won’t compare.

It should come as no surprise that I looked no further than our local farmers market for inspiration for this autumn arugula salad

And inspiration came easy. Fresh wild arugula. Beautiful squash. Bright pomegranates. Local organic walnuts. Sheep’s milk cheese. And local fresh pressed olive oil. The mix of the sweet and salty flavors that merge in this salad are delicious, and the warm roasted squash adds the perfect bit of warmth, wilting the arugula just enough and pulling together the flavors of fall.

We enjoyed it this week with a beautiful grass fed filet, a glass of organic pinot, and rain drops hitting the roof above. And we can’t wait to enjoy it again next week with our Thanksgiving dinner. Simple and delicious. Salads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Introducing, my Autumn Arugula Salad brought to you by our local farmers market…

Autumn Arugula Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


For candied walnuts

  • 1 cup organic raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TB pure maple syrup
  • 2 pinches sea salt

For squash

  • 1 whole organic squash of your choice (I like delicata, acorn, butternut, or kabocha)
  • 2 TB grass fed butter
  • 1 TB maple syrup
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

For salad

  • 16 oz wild arugula
  • 3/4 cup organic pomegranate seeds*
  • 2 oz crumbled goat or sheep’s milk cheese
  • 1/4 cup pure extra virgin olive oil (the more local the better)
  • 2 TB pomegranate balsamic vinegar

*I used the seeds from half of a pomegranate (if you pull the seeds out in a bowl of water, the seeds sink and the pith floats to the top, making life easier)


Walnuts first:

  • heat a small pan to medium-high
  • add your walnuts and maple syrup, plus one pinch of salt
  • stir while maple syrup begins to bubble (don’t stop stirring)
  • syrup will slowly start to dissolve and soak into the walnuts
  • once there is no more liquid in the pan and your walnuts are evenly coated, add one more pinch of salt
  • dump walnuts onto a plate covered with parchment paper and let them cool entirely
  • make sure to snack on 1 or 2 once they are cool (so good)

Squash second:

  • preheat oven to 400
  • peel and cube your squash
  • in the same pan as your walnuts add butter, 1 TB maple syrup, salt and pepper and stir until squash is coated
  • cover a baking pan with foil, spread squash evenly, and put into oven
  • roast until soft and slightly brown (about 20 min but keep an eye on these)

Put it all together:

  • while your squash cooks, make your dressing by whisking olive oil and vinegar
  • put arugula in a big salad bowl and add pomegranate seeds
  • once squash is done at it next (it’s great warm because it wilts the arugula a bit)
  • next crumble and add your walnuts
  • crumble your cheese and add it on top
  • drizzle dressing and toss
  • ENJOY with your Thanksgiving meal, a delicious steak, or wild caught fish (and maybe a good glass of wine like we did)

Note: try  not to eat all of the candied walnuts before you serve your salad. They are that good. Make some extra just for the snacking. Enjoy!

By | 2019-11-25T17:34:08-08:00 November 20th, 2014|Recipes, Soups, Salads, Sides|3 Comments


  1. Marni Yahoo November 21, 2014 at 6:45 am - Reply

    Hey Laura, That link doesn’t go anywhere. I can search the recipe on your blog but that link gives me an error Can’t wait to read it!!! Marni

    Sent from my iPhone


    • cflaurab November 21, 2014 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Thank you, Marni! I really appreciate it. I think I fixed the problem. Let me know if not. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  2. […] HERE is my autumn arugula salad, complete with roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, maple candied walnuts, goat cheese, and a super simple pomegranate dressing. […]

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