It’s winter in a bowl.
After a boxing class on Sunday, I wanted to make something complex for dinner but on the lighter, fresher side that wouldn’t break the bank. I remembered my favorite blogger, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, had recently written about a salad that “takes a while to make, as far as salads go, but it’s so good.”
She was right. It is so good. I maximized my time by doing a load of laundry while the butternut squash and garlic roasted in the oven. And while the two ingredients cooled, used the preheated oven to meal prep for the next day with my favorite baked tofu recipe (will share soon).
Once cooled, the tough part is over. You just whisk together the roasted garlic (it was tempting to not just slather the golden bits of goodness on a toasted piece of bread), lemon juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon), shallots and olive oil to make the dressing.
Trader Joe’s sells pre-cut, pre-washed Tuscan Kale, which again, makes life so much easier. Add the dressing to the kale and gently massage until wilted. And add pomegranate seeds, squash and parmesan cheese (I grated by hand, because per the goddess Ina Garten, do *not* buy pre-grated cheese). Top each serving with freshly toasted pepitas, and enjoy!
I dare you to find a more satisfying salad (and if you have found one, please leave the recipe in the comments below!)
Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Pomegranate, and Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled cut into 3/4″ cubes
- 1/2 cup, plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 whole head garlic
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- 1 1/2 pounds Tuscan kale (about 2 large bunches), stemmed, leaves thinly sliced
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)
- Heat oven to 425°F.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together squash, 2 tsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Place whole head of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tsp. oil, wrap securely in foil and place on baking sheet with squash.
- Roast, stirring squash occasionally after the first 15 minutes, until squash is golden and tender and garlic is tender, 35–40 minutes.
- Remove garlic and squash from oven and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp. oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepitas and cook, stirring occasionally, until about half are golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with 1/4 tsp. salt. Set aside.
- Cut off the top of the garlic head and squeeze all of the softened garlic into a medium bowl.
- Whisk in the lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, shallot, 1 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper, then whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine kale with about 3/4 of the dressing, and use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. Add more dressing as needed (you may not need all of it). Reserve any leftover dressing for another use.
- Add roasted squash, Parmesan, and pomegranate seeds to bowl; toss together to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
Note: Dressing can be prepared 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Squash and garlic can be roasted, and kale can be sliced 1 day ahead; place separately in airtight containers and chill. Salad can be tossed together 30 minutes ahead; keep at room temperature.