Salad of the Month: Kale with Roasted Squash and Tahini Dressing

If you haven’t made a kale salad at home yet, here’s the perfect recipe to get you started. With roasted squash and the tahini dressing, it’s hearty enough to stand on its own as a light lunch, or a surprising addition to the dinner table. Plus, it’s super healthy, too.

Delicata squash contains the same health-promoting benefits of all winter squash varieties, and it’s high in beta carotene, antioxidants and vitamin C. Combine it with kale — another nutritional powerhouse with ample amounts of iron, calcium and chlorophyll — and you have a delicious winter salad you can feel great about eating. If you want to dress it up for a special occasion, add some pomegranate seeds, a shower of shaved Parmesan, or a handful of toasted nuts.

Marinating the kale in lemon and a clove or two of garlic before adding the other ingredients to this salad is the secret to its simple yet layered flavors. The lemon plays off the sweetness of the roasted vegetables, and the garlic tastes delicious with the mustard dressing.

If you haven’t already discovered the benefits of adding a touch of tahini to your regular vinaigrette, then you’re in for a treat. The tahini provides a creamy texture without overpowering the flavors and stands up well to the robust raw kale. And because kale won’t wilt, this salad is perfect prepared ahead and served with the dressing on the side.

Kale Salad with Roasted Squash and Shallots and Mustard Tahini Dressing

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

For the Salad

1 delicata squash, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided

4 medium shallots cut into 1/4-inch slices

Sea salt

1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)*

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, pressed

* I used purple curly kale here; you could use green curly or Lacinato kale.

For the Dressing

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon warm water

1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Make the salad: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Add squash, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt to one tray.

Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Add shallots to the other tray with remaining olive oil [CM2] and a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Roast shallots for 20 minutes or until soft and browning in parts. Roast squash for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Place kale in a medium bowl, add lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt, and massage kale until it softens slightly. Top with shallots and roasted squash.

Make the dressing: Combine tahini with warm water and stir until smooth. Add mustard and vinegars and stir again. Drizzle in olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Serve on the side of the salad.

Related Links:

Kale and Sweet Potato Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing Recipe

Breakfast Salads

Healthy Beat-the-Clock Dinners

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen is available this fall. She blogs at amychaplin.com.

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