Ah, fall — the cool crisp air, the kaleidoscope of leaves, festive decorations, and hearty meals! When you think of autumn foods, you may envision baked goods, roasts, soups, and stews, but you can achieve a warm and cozy feeling with a salad, too! In this post, I share one I created with seasonal flavors, fruits, and vegetables. “Maple Butter Turkey Jerky Salad” is a tasty dish that balances sweet and savory and celebrates the fall. It can be enjoyed as an appetizer, side, or entree.
Note: This post was updated October 23, 2021.
Why Maple Butter and Turkey Jerky?
Maple butter, or buerre d’erable, is one of my favorite Canadian food products. It’s maple syrup that’s been whipped, so it’s got a thick consistency, perfect for salad dressings. I tried it for the first time in Quebec when my belle-mere encouraged me to spread it on a slice of buttered wheat toast. I was in heaven and have been hooked on it ever since!
Turkey jerky, I found, is a great substitute for bacon bits. It’s similar in texture but has less fat, more protein, and no nitrates or nitrites if you choose a nitrate and nitrite-free brand. Turkey gives the salad a Thanksgiving dinner kind of feel, and jerky doesn’t need to be cooked!
Preparation Time, Servings, and Ingredients
- Preparation Time: 30 to 40 minutes
- Servings: 2 entree (or 4 appetizer or side) salads
- Dressing Ingredients:
- 2 teaspoons maple butter
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Salad Ingredients:
- 4 cups arugula
- 1/4 yam
- 4 walnut halves
- 1 ounce turkey jerky
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- 1/4 Bartlett pear
- 1 ounce Asiago cheese
How to Make Maple Butter Turkey Jerky Salad
- In a large salad bowl, combine the maple butter, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Whisk together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let sit to allow the ingredients to marry each other.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop the yam into quarter-inch pieces, toss in a dash of olive oil, and season with a pinch of salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and transfer the walnuts to the baking sheet. The walnuts will toast as the oven temperature comes down.
- Chop up the jerky, cranberries, pear, and toasted walnuts, and shave the cheese.
- Transfer the pear, jerky, yam, and arugula to the salad bowl and toss in the dressing. Transfer to serving plates (2 entree-size or 4 appetizer or side-size). Sprinkle each with cheese, cranberries, and walnuts.
I love looking at and eating “Maple Butter Turkey Jerky Salad.” It’s got the colors and tastes of fall — deep green arugula, deep orange yam, ruby-red cranberries, smoky turkey, nutty cheese, bitter walnuts, and fruity pear. Kale, pecans, and Comice pears work well as alternative ingredients.
Have you tried maple butter or substituted bacon with jerky before? Did you try this recipe? Your thoughts are welcome. Please comment, pin for later, or share this autumn salad below.