The fields have spent the whole season bathing in the summer sun, so they are now brimming with a variety of richly-colored and nutrient-dense produce, from squashes and sweet potatoes to apples and pears and everything in between.

There are endless ways to take advantage of those amazing autumn crops. Some of my favorite simple fall side dishes are included here. These are perfect for feeding a crowd or just feeding the family on a busy weeknight. Either way, this recipes is packed to the brim with nutrition, flavor, and vibrant color.

Harvest Cobb with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette


For the dressing:
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:
4 slices bacon, diced
1 cup butternut squash, cut into ½-inch cubes
Kosher or fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
3 cups arugula
2 large eggs, hard-boiled and diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
½ cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup Asiago cheese, cubed small


To make the maple-cider vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil until completely blended. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the bacon drippings in the skillet.

Add the cubed butternut squash to the bacon drippings. Use a wooden or metal spoon to stir the squash pieces so they are all well coated with the bacon drippings. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

To assemble the salad, place the romaine and arugula in a large bowl and top with arranged rows of bacon, squash, eggs, apple, pepitas, cranberries, and cheese.

Serve immediately with the vinaigrette.

Serves 4-6

Written by Kim Maes



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