Kale Salad for Meatless Monday
After decades of growing and consuming lots of kale, I’m so happy to see this vitamin- and mineral-packed leafy green finally getting its due. For many years I bore ridicule from people who had never—and would never—touch kale if their lives depended on it. Now you see it everywhere, not only in its more traditional forms—steamed or sautéed in a side dish—but in more mainstream fare such as the now-ubiquitous kale smoothies and kale chips. In my opinion this is all for the good.
I still grow kale in my small urban garden. Just a few plants yield a crop that will sustain you all summer long and into the fall. That’s because if you avoid uprooting the plants, you can break off separate leaves all summer long and they’ll just keep growing back. It’s a truly renewable food source.
Last summer after giving away a substantial amount—which I can do now that people actually want it—I still had a huge amount left with more coming each week. I decided to experiment with trying a new kale salad recipe or two every week. Here’s one of the first ones I found. I took it to a potluck, where it was consumed in minutes.
I found this recipe on Food52, an amazing resource for people who love cooking and eating.
Kale Salad from Northern Spy Food Co.
- 1/2 cup cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
- 1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
- 1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot clothbound cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar — if you can’t find aged cheddar, use parmesan)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)
- Heat oven to 425° F. Toss squash cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved pecorino cheese, if desired, and serve.