An October without a trip to the pumpkin patch is a sad October in my opinion. Yes, you could go to the grocery store and struggle to get your large pumpkin out of the bin while some jerk steals your cart as you say "Oh um... that's actually my cart" and he says "Doesn't look like it" as he continues taking your cart, leaving you struggling with the heavy awkward pumpkin. Sigh... Apparently I'm still not over it. Pumpkin patches, on the other hand, are great places where you can feast on roasted corn while enjoying a nice cold beer and casually peruse the pumpkin selection before taking a hay ride back to your car.
The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie's Island sports a small market where you (or your friend's 5 year old daughter, Lily) can select all sorts of squash you didn't know you needed. Lily chose me a lovely little delicata squash which I am happy to say, was put to good use in this Autumn Arugula Salad.
I have complained for years that I cannot make a decent salad. The idea seemed so simple but I could never master it. Some people (my mom in particular) just throw the fridge leftovers on a bed of lettuce and it turns out amazing. I was not born with this talent! I have improved with much practice and this recipe for Autumn Arugula Salad is my golden child. I created it one day when I threw it together AND I actually liked it! I love the balance of the savory delicata squash, the crunch of the fresh fennel and sweet apple.
Even if you think you don't like fennel, I urge you to please try it, sliced thinly, in this salad! Try serving with Peruvian Style Roasted Chicken and Orzo with Parmesan and Basil or with Butternut Squash and Sage Soup for a lighter meal
Notes from October 2016: I am still loving this salad a year later! I have made a few "this is what I have in my fridge changes" lately that I wanted to share with you. I love adding a handful of sliced lacinato kale into the arugula! And when I don't have pomegranate syrup on hand, I have used IKEA's lingonberry jam instead and results have been great!