Does the world really need another kale salad, you might wonder? Well, that can indeed be debated. But it seems we just have to share the one that we return to time upon time – the one that manages to satisfy all (ok, most) food cravings, whether you’re longing for greens and vegetables or something filling, scrumptious and creamy. Making this salad will get all those boxes checked! Green curly kale is a staple around here, and I must say it’s our favorite kale variety for this type of salad. When we lived in NYC, we bought all of our produce at the Union Square Farmers Market and the one thing that ALWAYS found its way into my backpack (yep, I packed up everything in my backpack because schlepping a whole week’s worth of fruit and veggies 12 street blocks and 5 avenues would literally make my arms fall off) was green curly kale. In the midst of winter and crazy storms (fellow New Yorkers, you know what I’m talking about), I’d dig out the bunches from underneath the snow and they’d be as tasty as ever. I know there’s a lot of kale talk (heck, even kale sweaters), but I do love it. How could you not adore something so pretty, easy to grow (well, if you keep checking for cabbage worms) and mind-blowingly nutritious? While declaring your love for kale has ‘pretentious’ written all over it… I just can’t help myself. It’s awesome.
Our dinner table sees this salad almost once a week during the colder half of the year. Not that we’re not in the mood for it during the other half – no, it’s simply because butternut squash is in season now and throughout the winter, and… we eat with the seasons. Plus, the dried cranberries almost tickle your holiday season spirit, so fall and winter are definitely when to cook this up! Before we let you go – a quick note on the actual recipe: massaging the kale before mixing it with the other ingredients is always a good idea – in just a few minutes, it’ll remove the bitter flavor otherwise associated with the (leafy) cabbage family members. It also softens the leaves just a bit, making them a little less daunting to chew down. Also, we mix in the dressing before serving and any leftovers (dressed and everything) will keep in the fridge for a few days, without getting too soggy. That’s pretty much what I have to say – I hope you’ll like it!
För recept på svenska, klicka här: Grönkålssallad med butternutpumpa och tahinidressing
Makes 4 servings
350 g green curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into big pieces
1 medium butternut squash (~1.2 kg) or equal amount sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2 cm cubes
2 medium red onions (~200 g), sliced halfway and then into wedges
4 dl cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 dl dried cranberries
1 dl toasted pumpkin seeds
Olive oil and salt
3/4 dl tahini
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 dl lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
2 1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1-3 tbsp hot water
A few grinds of black pepper
- Set the oven to 200°C/400°F. Toss the butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt and arrange on a baking sheet. Do the same thing with the onion wedges, but use 1/4 tsp of salt instead. Place both sheets in the oven and roast for 20-25 min (squash) and 30-35 min (onions). Depending on your oven, you can switch places for your sheets halfway through, when you’ll take them out to flip around anyway.
- In a large bowl, place the kale pieces. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 salt before you massage it all together, continuing until the leaves have turned darker, feels bit softer and look a little glossy. Add in chickpeas and cranberries and set aside.
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor (start by using the lesser amount of water) and blend until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if too thick. You’re looking for something pourable yet creamy here. Season to taste.
- When the butternut squash and onions are done, stir them in with the rest of the salad. Mix in the dressing and finish off by sprinkling the pumpkin seeds on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later – a tip is to take it out of the fridge a little while before eating though, so the flavors come through more. Good luck!