Autumn Chopped Salad with Creamy Maple Bacon & Walnut Dressing

I’m getting ready for a girl’s getaway next weekend in Santa Fe and came up with a yummy chopped salad recipe to serve.  It is delicious and a perfect way to get in the mood for the fall season.  This recipe was inspired by a chopped salad served at a well-known restaurant in Scottsdale.  I’ve re-created the restaurant salad many times but was in the mood for some fall flavors because I’m so ready for some cooler weather!   It looks so pretty on a serving platter and tastes even better!  Plus, the dressing is so good that I could just eat it with a spoon!

Autumn Chopped Salad

1/2 c Uncooked barley
2 c Cubed butternut squash
1 Gala apple
1 c Corn, drained
1/2 c Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), roasted and salted

1/4 c Dried cranberries
2 T Grated Parmesan cheese
Red leaf lettuce

1.  Cook barley according to package

2.  Roast butternut squash:  Pre-heat oven to 400.  Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper then spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast and toss occasionally until just tender and golden brown (about 30 min).

3.  Dice apple

4.  Combine pepitas, dried cranberries and grated Parmesan cheese.

5.  Arrange on plate as follows:  start in the middle with a row of lettuce.  Spoon barley on either side of lettuce then place a row of corn and chopped apples on either side of barley.  Finish with the Pepita mixture on one end and butternut squash on the other.

6.  Lightly toss together just before serving.

Creamy Maple Bacon & Walnut Dressing

1/2 c Chopped walnuts
3 T Apple cider vinegar
6 T Pure maple syrup
2 T Bacon flavored olive oil
2 T Vegetable oil
1/4 c Real mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or small blender and blend until smooth.  Will keep in the refrigerator for a week.  Please note:  once refrigerated it will thicken so you may need to add 1 to 2 T of water to thin.

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