The active prep time is a bit longer if you're starting with just the butternut squash and need to peel and cube it yourself. (Or at least, it takes me longer.) To prep the butternut squash yourself, use a big knife to cut off the top and bottom of the squash. Now slice it lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds and save those for later to make Fried Squash Seeds. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin. Then cut it up into half-inch-sized cubes.
The last couple times I've made this, I've prepped the vegetables on the weekend (roasted the butternut squash, torn up the kale) and then assembled and heated it up on the stove top for a quick meal during the week. Don't cook the kale ahead of time since it loses a bit of its brightness upon reheating. If I'm doing it all at once, I'll get the butternut squash into the oven first, and then while that's roasting, I'll prep the kale and chop nuts.
Seems to hold up well to substitutions too. My sister doesn't like onions so we left out the shallots. Later when I made it, I substituted in onion since I didn't have any shallots. We used other squashes instead of butternut squash, different hard cheeses like pecorino and manchego instead of parmesan, and substituted various roasted seasoned nuts for the almonds. The most amazing nut we've used was garlic-seasoned macadamia nuts. All times, it's been scarfed down pretty happily. My boyfriend is generally indifferent to kale (except for kale chips) and butternut squash but he gobbled this up contentedly. Hope you like this too!
Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Almonds
Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash
1 bunch kale, stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch wide ribbons (about 5 cups)
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
Parmesan (omit if vegan or dairy-free)(for shaving)
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Whisk 5 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, shallot, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Pile squash on the foil and mix with 2Tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the pieces out so they're mostly in a single layer. Roast until squash is tender and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. I like to roast until a fork easily pierces the squash. Set aside and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add kale and cook, tossing frequently, until bright green and slightly wilted, 1–2 minutes.
- Remove kale from heat; add 3–4 Tbsp. dressing and toss to coat. Transfer kale to a baking sheet and cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Add reserved squash and almonds to kale; toss well and season with pepper. Divide among bowls; drizzle with more dressing, if desired. If using Parmesan, use a vegetable peeler to shave Parmesan over top of each serving.