This deliciously hearty salad has upped the ante. The textures and flavors are gorgeous – raw, roasted, sweet and tangy. It features not only Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale but also farro, apple slices, dried cherries and pumpkin seeds, topped with an apple cider vinegar dressing with maple syrup and Dijon mustard. YUM. To be honest I had it for lunch and dinner 🙂
Naturally this would be a PERFECT salad for the Thanksgiving table. If you like you could make the farro, roast the butternut squash, whip up the dressing and massage (yes, massage) the kale the day before. Then on the big day all you have to do is arrange it artfully in a pretty bowl, tuck in the apple slices and sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds and dried cherries. Easy.
I used Honey Crisp apples, you want a crisp, sweet and juicy apple. As far as the butternut squash is concerned please do yourself a favor and buy it already cut up from the supermarket.
Now, back to the Kale. Yes, you need to massage it. First, I like to chop it fairly mercilessly, you don’t want to have to navigate an entire kale leave into your mouth. Once chopped, place it in a large bowl, drizzle over a little dressing, then roll your sleeves up and massage firmly until the leaves turn bright green and the the fibers begin to break down. As mentioned previously, it’s fine to do this a day in advance, the kale doesn’t go soggy like regular salad greens that have been dressed.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Deliciously satisfying Fall Salad
1 cup cooked farro
1 lb Butternut squash cut into chunks (I buy ready cut from supermarket)
2 tablespoons vegetables stock
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 packet of Kale, Curly or Lacinato
1 large or 2 medium Apples (I used Honey Crisp)
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
1 scant tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of filtered water
Pre heat the oven to 425F
Cook the farro according to the package instructions.
Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the baking tray, if they look overcrowded use 2 trays, you want to make sure the squash roasts and slightly caramelizes, if it’s overcrowded it will steam – not what we’re after here.
In a small bowl whisk together the vegetable stock, pepper, maple syrup, cumin and cinnamon. Drizzle over the squash, and place it in the oven. Roast for approximately 25-30 minutes until tender but not mushy. Check after about 15 minutes and move the squash around to ensure even cooking.
While the butternut squash is roasting get on with making the dressing and massaging the kale. To make the dressing combine the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Whisk in the filtered water. TASTE. Add more of any ingredient depending on how sweet or tangy you like your dressing..
Place the chopped kale in a large bowl, drizzle over a tablespoon of the dressing and massage the kale until the leaves are bright green.
When the butternut squash is ready, remove from oven.
To assemble the salad, place the farro over the bed of kale, add the squash, cherries, pumpkin seeds, tuck the apple slices here and there, pour over the dressing and serve.