Fall Harvest Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Southern Kitchen
Fall Harvest Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

About the recipe

Better known as chayote squash, mirlitons are native to Mexico and Central America, but have grown around Louisiana since the 19th century. They are members of the gourd family, and have a tart flavor when cooked. When eaten raw, they have a fantastic crunch with a faint flavor of zucchini or cucumber.

Soaking raw onions in ice water removes some of their bitterness and pungency. Just make sure to drain well before tossing with the rest of the salad.

Serves: 3 to 4

Hands On Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes\


Dijon Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Ice water, as needed

4 cups thinly sliced kale, washed

2 mirlitons, cored and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (see note)

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup dried cranberries


To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.

 Heat the oven to 400 degrees. 

In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking. Let cool to room temperature. Keep the oven on and save the bowl for tossing the salad.

Spread the pecans in a single layer on a second baking sheet. Roast until lightly browned and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, cover the sliced red onions with ice water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain thoroughly.

In the large bowl, combine the kale, mirlitons, apples, cranberries, roasted squash, toasted pecans and drained red onions. Season with salt and black pepper, and stir in 1/4 cup of the Dijon vinaigrette. Toss to thoroughly coat all of the ingredients with the vinaigrette; add more vinaigrette if desired. Serve.