Kale Salad with Warm Butternut Squash

Kale Salad.jpg

If you’re like me, you’ve dabbled in kale. You’ve heard about the health benefits and you had a delicious kale salad at your favorite restaurant. So, you decide to go home and make a kale salad of your own and it’s absolutely disgusting. It tastes exactly like what you imagine eating a pinecone would be like.

 There’s a simple reason for this, and no, it has nothing to do with massage oil. The kale you ate at that restaurant was probably well prepped. All the woody stems were removed, and the kale was cut down into thin ribbons. This makes the kale much more tender and manageable. It takes a little bit of time, but it’s totally worth it because kale is hearty enough to keep after its been dressed. Unlike most salads, it can be prepared in advance. You can make a big batch of this salad on Sunday, and it will keep fresh in the fridge for up to four days!

 This salad is adaptation of a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman that was published in the New York Times. I added roasted butternut squash and dried cranberries to offset the creamy saltiness of the sharp cheddar. I store the squash separately and heat it up before adding it to my salad. It’s my new favorite lunch.

Serves 8.


·      1 cup butternut squash- cut into small cubes

·      4 cups kale

·      ½ cup slivered almonds

·      ¼ cup red onion-small diced

·       ½ cup dried cranberries- roughly chopped

·      ½ cup sharp white cheddar- diced

·      2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·      5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

·      Salt

·      Freshly cracked black pepper


1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a parchment lined baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season generously with salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.

2.     While the squash cooks, carefully remove all of the stems from the kale and finely chop the kale into thin ribbons. Place the kale in a large serving bowl.

3.     In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and remaining olive oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

4.     Add the dressing, almonds, red onion, dried cranberries, and white cheddar to the kale. Toss until thoroughly combined. Top with warm squash and serve.


LunchAudrey AkinComment