This salad is all fall. The sweetness of roasted butternut squash and thin slices of apple blend perfectly with the kale dressed in a simple lemon vinaigrette, and topped with curls of parmesan. We had this alongside a tuna chickpea salad for a filling, healthy lunch. Kale is incredibly good for you on so many levels, and I try to work it into as many recipes as I can while it’s available in abundance at our Scranton Farmers’ Market (my favorite grocery place in town, BY FAR. Have you found your local farmers’ market yet?).
KALE, ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, APPLE & PARMESAN SALAD (serves 2-4)
– 1/2 head of kale, “ribs” cut out and discarded, leaves torn into pieces
– 1/2 butternut squash, roasted
– 1-2 apples (gala, macintosh, etc. Any sweeter apple will work)
– shaves of parmesan cheese (thin pieces of fresh cheddar would also work)
– Juice of 1/2 lemon (approx. 1 tbsp)
– 2 Tbsp EVOO
– Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1. Get the squash roasting. The easiest way to do this is to punch a couple of small holes into a whole squash (with a fork, or similar) and throw the whole thing in an oven at 400 for about 20 minutes. After this time, the squash should be soft enough that you can cut off the bottom without any trouble, then slice it in half and scoop out the seeds.
2. Rub a couple of drops of olive oil on each cut side of the squash, then place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 for approx.30 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.
3. Meanwhile, prep the kale. After washing thoroughly, cut out the “ribs” and discard, then roughly tear or cut the kale into similar-size pieces.
4. Wash the apples, then cut them into thin slices. Delicate slices as opposed to larger chunks will give this salad a refreshing little bite with every forkful.
5. When squash is finished roasting, remove from oven, peel the skin (this should come right off if the squash has been fully roasted), then cut squash into chunks.
6. Whisk together dressing, then add to the kale and massage into the kale pieces (kale can be kind of tough, so massaging the dressing into the leaves will make them a little more chewable). Add squash, apples, and gently stir to combine. Top with parmesan (or cheddar) and serve as either a side or a main dish.