Autumn Squash and Chard Salad


This light and delicious fall dish is the perfect side for your Thanksgiving table, or a light lunch for a happy autumn afternoon. The crispness of the green apple mirrors the chill in the air, while cooked chard and squash provide tummy-warming substance. If you're cooking with kids, they'll have fun raking the spaghetti squash.

1 small spaghetti squash (or half of one med/large)
1 bunch fresh chard
1 large green apple
olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 T. curry powder
salt and pepper

Set oven to 425. Cut squash in half down the long side and use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Rub squash (meat side) with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place squash flat side down. Bake for 45 mins-1 hour depending on the size of the squash---until meat is soft enough to separate with a fork.

When it's cool enough to handle, use a fork to rake the squash meat (or let your kids loose on it). Put the squash in a large bowl and set aside.

Wash the chard and remove the long stems. Tear into large pieces and lightly steam. (Hey, nobody likes limp chard.) Chop the chard into smaller pieces and add to the bowl with the squash.

Chop green apple into small pieces, leaving skin on. Add to squash and chard.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 C. olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste. (I have a small mason jar with a lid and just shake it all up.)

Pour dressing over squash mix and stir to coat. 

Optional add-ons include pine nuts (raw or toasted) and chickpeas.

Sure, you could go the raisin/dried cranberry route like most restaurants would, but that would really change the flavor of the dish and be most of what you taste. As it is, the squash and chard are subtle flavors, which is why the fresh green apple lets them shine.