Roasted Delicata and Apple Kale Salad
Helloooo, super easy kale salad.
This simple salad is a delicious way to utilize some of my favorite winter fruits and vegetables, like delicata squash, crisp apple, and kale. All three (plus the other delicious ingredients in this recipe) are powerhouse pieces of produce, and definitely ones you should be eating this cold, dreary winter.
Yep, cold and dreary winter. Our Portland weather has been constant gloom, clouds, and rain, which is super typical for this time of year. Along with popping vitamin D3 supplements, I’ve been making sure to consume as much vibrant fruits and veg as possible, because healthy and happy foods always cheer me up.
This salad is a bright, big bowl of goodness. Kale, of course, is queen. It’s a cruciferous vegetable packed with vitamins K, A, C, E, and certain B vitamins, copper, iron, fiber, calcium, and oh so much more. Kale is also a very rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids, both of which are associated with anti-inflammatory properties and disease prevention. Massaging or cooking kale and adding it to your diet is a wonderful way to reap tons of plant powers in the cold, dark days of winter.
Massaged kale is topped with roasted apple and delicata squash. Delicata squash, a variety of winter squash, is one of my absolute faves. Not only is it easy to cut for a winter squash, (hallelujah!) it has a sweet and caramel taste that is accentuated when roasted. Delicata, and other winter squash varieties, pack in the vitamin A precursor, beta carotene, as well as plenty of fiber and healthy, whole carbohydrates. I love the hearty texture and taste that delicata provide to this delish kale salad.
Finally, this kale salad is topped with pomegranate seeds, another seasonal star loaded with vitamins. Avocado adds a delicious dose of buttery flavor and healthy fats, while pumpkin seeds provide crunch and zinc out the wazoo.
Drizzle the whole bowl with extra tahini, if you’d like, and devour! This kale salad even makes for a delicious batch-cooked recipe. I like storing it in individual containers to have as quick lunches throughout the week. Instead of getting soft and gross, the kale actually gets even better – yum! Just make sure to not add avocado if you’re planning on storing the salad, as the avo can get a bit brown.
Sweet delicata squash + roasted apple + delicious tahini dressing + massaged kale = a nourishing way to take on winter days.
Roasted Delicata and Apple Kale Salad
1 delicata squash, seeds removed and cut into chunks
2 small fuji apples, largely diced or 1 large
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried thyme
1 Tablespoon ghee
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 head of lacinato or green curly kale, stems removed and finely chopped
The juice of 1 lemon
3 Tablespoons tahini
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 avocado, diced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking dish with parchment paper.
Add cut delicata squash and apple to baking tray and drizzle with ghee. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Use your hands to fully coat squash and apples. Roast for 20 minutes.
While delicata and apple are roasting, add finely chopped kale to a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and maple syrup. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Use your hands to massage liquids into kale for about two to three minutes, or until kale is wilted and broken down.
Add pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and diced avocado to kale. Top with roasted apple and delicata squash and mix once more. Serve kale salad immediately and enjoy!
- I know it sounds weird, put I like to finely chop my kale with kitchen shears. Simply place roughly torn kale into large bowl and use kitchen shears to snip up kale into a million pieces. Works like a charm! These kitchen shears are my favorite kale cutters.
- Goat cheese is a delicious addition to this kale salad!