Want to wow your family or guests with a filling, healthful salad that will still feel like an indulgent, holiday treat this Thanksgiving? Try this warm kale and butternut squash salad - it is sure to impress! And it tastes great fresh and warm and ALSO cold as leftovers the next day! (Pro-tip: butternut squash can be hard to peel and cube - that’s why I like pricking mine all over with a fork and nuking for 5 minutes before prepping it. Also, you can use a potato peeler to peel the skin!)
Warm Kale Harvest Salad
Ingredients For the Salad:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 cups kale, chopped
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries
(Optional: to make the salad extra filling, add 1/2 cup of quinoa)
For the Dressing:
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out the walnuts and toast for about 8 minutes, until fragrant. Remove the walnuts from the baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
Toss the butternut squash in 2 tablespoons olive oil and bake using the same baking sheet for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl.
Using your fingers, massage the kale with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread the kale out on the same baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until wilted and slightly crispy on the edges.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Add the garlic, balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to a small bowl and whisk until emulsified.
Combine the cooked kale, butternut squash, toasted walnuts, and cranberries. Pour the vinaigrette overtop and toss to combine. Serve immediately! This salad stores well and can be eaten warm or cold.