This salad has been in my head for a while and I finally had the chance to make it for Christmas Eve. The thing about this salad is that you can pretty much use any kind of fruit (dried or fresh) or nut or roasted root veggie for that matter and it will still be delicious. You can also add goat cheese if you would like. I included roasted chickpeas in the salad, but I actually think that regular chickpeas would better because the salad is kind of moist and the chickpeas lost their crunch. Look for a recipe on how to roast chickpeas coming up – I need to perfect it a little bit more.
Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes to roast squash and toast pumpkin seeds
Servings: 8 side salads
- 3 cups of ripped kale, stems removed
- 2 cups of butternut squash (peeled and cubed, I bought pre-cut)
- 1 container pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup salted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
- 1/3 – 1/2 goat cheese crumbles (optional)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus enough to soften the kale leaves
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- salt and pepper
- To roast the squash, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, lay out cubed squash on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and salt on top of the squash and cover loosely with aluminum foil. (This will prevent the squash from burning.)
- Place in the oven to bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until tender and starting to brown.
- When done, remove from oven and allow squash to cool completely before adding to salad. You can roast the squash a day in advance too.
- Add pepitas to a frying pan and lightly toast over low heat, being careful not to let them get too brown.
- Combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and lemon juice in a small container and whisk well.
- Add ripped kale to a large salad bowl. Massage a little bit of olive oil into the kale leaves to soften them up and make them nice and green.
- When you are ready to assemble the salad, add the cooled squash, pomegranate seeds, chickpeas and toss to mix well.
- Just prior to serving add the dressing and the goat cheese, if desired.
- Serve immediately.
Even dressed, this salad tastes great the next day because the kale leaves are so hearty. Here are some other options to consider for fruit: dried cranberries, cherries or raisins, apples, pears or strawberries. Here are some roasted veggie options: cauliflower, beets and sweet potatoes. Here are some nut options: sunflower seeds, pecans, pistachios, almond slivers. Whatever you do, ENJOY!