This Is the Ultimate Fall Salad

published Sep 23, 2020
The Ultimate Fall Salad

This roasty, toasty salad celebrates everything you love about autumn. It's packed with squash, apples, and chewy farro, and tossed in a bright lemon vinaigrette.


Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 40 minutes

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Ultimate fall salad on platter surrounded by accoutrements.
Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe | Food Stylist: Amelia Rampe

This recipe is part of Kitchn 100 — the hundred recipes you need right now. Check out all of the amazing dishes, from Kitchn and beyond, here.

There’s something undeniably special about autumn. I love pulling out my favorite cozy cardigan and watching the leaves turn, and feeling the crispness in the air. It’s also the time when I start to turn on my oven and my palate craves deeper, more robust flavors. 

An abundant fall salad is one of the best ways to satisfy these cravings, and this one is a celebration of all the things I love about the season. It features fresh peak-season apples and roasted squash, hearty farro (which is toasted first to intensify its nutty flavor), blue cheese for deep savory bites, charred radicchio to balance the sweetness, and spiced pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for lots of fall aroma and crunch. A lemon juice and white wine vinaigrette brightens up all the roasty, toasty flavors. I want to eat it all fall long; I hope you do too.

Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe | Food Stylist: Amelia Rampe

Creating Your Own Ultimate Fall Salad

This salad ticks all the boxes of the Kitchn staff’s fall salad preferences: heartiness, sweetness, and plenty of texture. As long as you preserve these elements, you can riff on it as you please. If you don’t like squash, opt for a sweet potato. If you want to add dried cranberries, go for it. Goat cheese is a great alternative to blue cheese (salty, savory cheeses really shine in this salad). If you prefer nuts to pepitas, feel free to use them.

Speaking of pepitas, you’ll toast them in a skillet with a homemade spice blend inspired by Ras el Hanout, which is a Middle Eastern spice blend often made with cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and coriander. If you don’t have all the spices in your cupboard, any variation of the spices would work, or you can start with a pre-made blend. The pepitas bring spiced and savory aromas to the salad, and lots of great texture.

The Ultimate Fall Salad

This roasty, toasty salad celebrates everything you love about autumn. It's packed with squash, apples, and chewy farro, and tossed in a bright lemon vinaigrette.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 40 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    large delicata squash (about 1 pound)

  • 5 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 cup

    uncooked pearled farro

  • 3 cups


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cardamom

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground turmeric

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup

    raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

  • 1

    large lemon

  • 3 tablespoons

    white wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1

    large head radicchio (about 12 ounces)

  • 1

    medium apple, such as Fuji or Gala

  • 3 tablespoons

    fresh parsley leaves

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped fresh chives

  • 2 ounces

    blue cheese or fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Trim the ends from 1 large delicata squash. Halve lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, then cut crosswise into 3/4-inch thick slices.

  2. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange into a single layer. Roast, flipping halfway through, until browned and tender, about 30 minutes total. Meanwhile, cook the farro, toast the pumpkin seeds, prepare the dressing, and sear the radicchio.

  3. Rinse 1 cup farro. Place in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until deepened in color and toasty-smelling, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until cooked through and tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking. Set aside to drain.

  4. Place 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, and 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a large skillet and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds.

  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the spices deepen in color and the pumpkin seeds are toasted and popping, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and set aside to use later.

  6. Finely grate the zest of 1 large lemon into a large bowl (about 1 tablespoon). Juice the lemon until you have 1 tablespoon juice and add to the bowl. Add 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and 1 tablespoon honey and whisk to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

  7. Cut 1 head radicchio through the core into 8 wedges. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the reserved skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the radicchio wedges cut-side down and sear until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the wedges to another cut side and sear until browned, about 2 minutes more. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Remove from the heat.

  8. Core and cut 1 medium apple into 1/4-inch thick slices. Finely chop 3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves. Finely chop chives until you have 2 tablespoons. Crumble 2 ounces blue cheese or fresh goat cheese (about 1/2 cup).

  9. Add the farro, squash, radicchio, apple, half the cheese, half the spiced pumpkin seeds, and half the parsley and chives to the bowl of dressing. Gently toss to combine. Transfer to serving plates and garnish with the remaining cheese, pumpkin seeds, and herbs.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The spiced pumpkin seeds can be made ahead up to 4 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.