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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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place kale into a large bowl and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of the dressing. Massage the kale until softened and wilted.
- 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).
- Transfer the salad onto a serving platter, adding extra pomegranate arils, nuts/seeds, or apple slices on top for presentation.
Makes 4-6 servings
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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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