I do think that this kale salad, while being perfect for any occasion, would be a nice addition to any Thanksgiving plate. It’s chock full of color, so it would definitely liven up the all the browns, whites and tans that Thanksgiving dinner fare is known for. It’s amazingly delicious with the caramelized roasted squash paired with the toasted almonds and the aged cheddar. The flavors mesh together so well and make every bite scrumptious. The dressing is so simple, all you need is a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. Now, how easy is that? Not a fan of squash or to lazy to roast some up, no problem. You could substitute the squash for some apple or pair slices, as well as persimmon, fresh apricots, dried cherries and pomegranates. I think I might just try this salad out on my kids with some apple slices and pomegranates. They are not big squash fans, so maybe those two fruits will entice them.
I thought I would share a cool fact with you that might make you feel less guilty about topping your kale salads with all that cheese. I recently read that you should have a bit of citrus (lemon juice) with your greens, as citrus helps with absorption of the nutrients. It’s also really important to have some fat in there from the dressing, nuts, or cheeses (or in this case, all of the above) to promote absorption. That certainly makes me feel better about throwing a bunch of cheese into my salad.
Kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar:
printer friendly recipe
- 1 delicata squash – see instructions below on how to cook and cut the squash
- 1 bunch of lacinato/dinasour kale, de-stemmed, finely sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot clothbound cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar) – My market did not have any clothbound cheddar, so I asked the cheese guy and he suggested one (shown below) that was AMAZING! The cheddar really makes this salad, so ask your local cheese monger what would be the best substitute for the Cabot cheddar. In a pinch and can’t find a good aged cheddar, then you can use Parmesan cheese.
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided – You will use 2-tablespoons for the dressing and 1-tablespoon to roast the squash.
- salt and pepper to taste
You can discard the seeds or roast them up.
Place the squash in the oven and roast for about 7-10 minutes. Check them at 7 minutes to see if they are browned on the bottom. If they’re not, then leave them in for a few more minutes until they are brown and golden on the bottom (mine were perfectly browned after 10 minutes). When they are browned on the bottom, flip them over gently using a spatula or tongs so that the other side can brown up. Continue roasting for about 7 more minutes and give them another check. You want both sides of the squash to be golden brown and the texture to be tender and soft (but not mushy) when pierced with a fork. Mine took exactly 17 minutes to roast, but I have read recipes where it can take up to 20-25 minutes to roast.