This Wintry Kale Salad came to be in a very strange way, and it all started with public transportation…
You see some interesting people on public transportation.
I work a few times a week as a kitchen assistant at Sur La Table. They offer cooking classes, so they hired me to clean up after the students, do the dishes and make sure no one catches on fire or cuts their fingers off…
Sur La Table is located 35 minutes away from my home. So, twice a week I don my pepper spray and get on TRAX…a public train that runs downtown. That’s where things come alive. For example…I’m pretty sure I witnessed a kidnapping the other day. And don’t even get me started about the guy on parole with the ankle monitor, or the man that insisted on composing his rap song very loudly while tapping his rhythm out on the back of my seat. Truth be told, I love people watching, so I really don’t mind the ride…
In one of the most recent classes I helped with, we made a delicious winter salad with delicata squash. On the TRAX ride home, I just kept thinking about how delicious that salad was. So of course, I decided to re-create my own version! But it turns out delicata squash is almost out of season, so I could only get my hands on butternut. Then, I realized I hadn’t paid close attention to Sur La Table’s dressing ingredients, so I made up something completely different. So yes, this Wintry Kale Salad is not even close to the one I ate at Sur La Table. But maybe that’s a good thing. When I eat it, I won’t be reminded of ankle monitors, kidnappers and wanna-be rappers…
While it’s not Sur La Table’s, it’s still a wintry, kale-filled, squash-laden salad bursting with pomegranate seeds, feta-cheese crumbles and toasted walnuts. And then drizzle some mustard balsamic ginger dressing on top and…yuuuummm. It definitely qualifies as a “New-Year-Goal-Approved-Meal.” We’re all gonna eat healthier, exercise more and lose 200 pounds by the end of the year, right? 😉 But really, it’s such a nice thing to enjoy a flavorful and hearty salad that is good for you too!
- 4 cups kale
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash or delicata squash
- 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- Feta cheese for topping
- Pomegranate seeds for topping
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. honey mustard
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. honey
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger (less or more to taste)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degree. With a vegetable peeler, remove the skin on the squash. Slice the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds and goop. Cut into small bite-sized cubes. (If using delicata squash, see notes).
- Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes, until fork tender. (If you over-roast, they can become mushy)!
- Peel the ginger and mince into tiny pieces.
- Mix together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, honey, turmeric and ginger and then slowly stir in the olive oil. Set aside.
- Gently run a knife through the pomegranate skin all the way around the pomegranate. Don't cut all the way through. Once you have sliced all the way around the pomegranate, gently prod it open.
- Working with one half at a time, hold the pomegranate over a bowl and beat the back with a wooden spoon, so seeds fall into the bowl. Peel back the skin as you go to expose more seeds. Repeat until all seeds are dislodged.
- In a large serving bowl combine kale, roasted squash and sliced avocado. Top with toasted walnuts, feta cheese and pomegranate seeds.
- Toss with desired amount of dressing.
*If using delicata squash, leave the skin on. Slice the squash from stem to root and scoop out the seeds and goop. Place each side skin side up on a flat surface and slice from one side to the other, making a half-moon shape. Toss with oil and roast for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender but not too soft.
*Toss in some shredded or grilled chicken and this salad becomes a healthy and filling meal!