Roasted squash, crunchy apples and dried cherries add seasonal freshness to traditional Cobb salad ingredients dressed in a spiced apple cider vinaigrette and topped with candied walnuts.
1/2acorn squashseeded and peeled then cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2small butternut squashseeded and peeled then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1tablespoonolive oil or vegetable oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2tablespoonslight brown sugar
1/3cupspiced apple cider
6cupsmixed salad greenssuch as romaine, radicchio and arugula
4sliced cooked baconchopped
3hard boiled eggssliced
1baked chicken breastchopped
1avocadopeeled and pitted then thinly sliced
1apple such as Gala or honey crispcored and thinly sliced
3/4cupwhite cheddar cheesechopped
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the acorn squash on one side of a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and the butternut squash on the other side of the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil or vegetable oil and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, stir together 1 1/2 tablespoons water and the brown sugar in a non-stick pan and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture slightly thickens then add the walnuts and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the sauce reduces and the nuts become fragrant. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle with kosher salt. Separate the nuts with a fork and cool.
In a small jar, combine the vegetable oil, spiced apple cider, Dijon mustard and season with kosher salt and pepper. Shake the jar until well combined and emulsified. Taste for seasoning and add more apple cider to taste.
In a large bowl, add the salad greens. Top with rows of bacon, hard boiled egg, chicken, celery, avocado, apple, cheddar cheese, dried cherries and candied walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.