Harvest Kale Salad Recipe

Harvest Kale Salad

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Here’s a harvest kale salad that will add extra health and color to the holiday dining table – although you can make it anytime this fall or winter! This yummy combination of seasonal ingredients will be a crowd-pleaser – plus it’s an easy and quick recipe.

Why we love it

This salad is endlessly adaptable! The recipe is a wonderful template, but you can make substitutions and variations depending on what is in season and available in your area.

Kale: with its high amounts of antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin C,  and cancer-preventing glucosinolates, it’s no wonder kale is the poster child of healthy food. However, if kale is not a favorite in your home, try substituting other greens such as arugula, spinach, baby kale, chard, or a mix that comes pre-made.

Delicata squash: delicata squash is special because it does not require peeling – you can eat the skin! This saves a lot of time and struggle, since other squashes tend to have thick skin that must be peeled or cut off. However, feel free to substitute any other squash instead – pumpkin, kabocha, butternut, or any other seasonal variety. Just make sure you adjust the roasting time as needed.

Apple: fall is the perfect season for apples, with many exotic varieties popping up at grocery stores and farmers markets. Feel free to use a pear instead!

Nuts/seeds: a delicious fall combo is pecans + pumpkin seeds, but walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds will work as well. Also, don’t skip the toasting – this intensifies the nutty flavor.

Pomegranate: another antioxidant powerhouse, pomegranate is a member of the berry family. Instead of pomegranate, you can add a few tablespoons of dried fruit to add a touch of sweetness. Try dried cranberries, raisins, cherries or even blueberries.

Harvest Kale Salad



2 bunches of kale, washed and chopped (about 8 cups or 12oz)

2 delicata squash

1 medium/large apple, cored and quartered, sliced into thin slices

1 cup mixed nuts/seeds, e.g. pecans & pumpkin seeds

Arils from 1 pomegranate


1 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste


  1. Wash the delicata squash and cut the ends off to create two flat edges. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds, then cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch c-shaped slices.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place squash slices on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with a few teaspoons of olive oil and some sea salt, and spread in a single layer. Roast for 25-35 minutes until tender, stirring about halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, dry toast the nuts/seeds on the stovetop in a pan over medium heat, or on a baking sheet while the squash is roasting. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Once the nuts/seeds smell toasty and begin to brown, they are done.
  4. While the squash is roasting, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients together in a mason jar, tighten with a lid, and shake to combine. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Place kale into a large bowl and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of the dressing. Massage the kale until softened and wilted.
  6. Add the roasted squash, apple slices, pomegranate arils, and toasted nuts/seeds to the bowl of kale, reserving a bit of each ingredient for topping. Add a splash more of the dressing, adjusting as needed (you might have leftover dressing).
  7. Transfer the salad onto a serving platter, adding extra pomegranate arils, nuts/seeds, or apple slices on top for presentation.

Makes 4-6 servings

Find more unique salad recipes in NTI’s collection:

Vegetarian Antipasto Salad

Paleo Greek Salad with Avo-Ziki Dressing

Super Spring Salad With Sesame Chive Dressing

Warm Spiced Butternut Squash Salad with Apples and Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Want to learn how to create and prepare recipes like this?

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About the author: Daina Rasutis is a graduate of NTI’s Nutrition Therapist Master Program. Her background in Environmental Engineering has allowed her to combine the best of science with a love for nutrition, sustainability & delicious food. Follow Daina’s cooking creations and lifestyle tips on her website: www.tabletocrave.com

Image use permission given by Table to Crave

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