Monday, March 1, 2021

Roasted Butternut and Kale Salad with Goat Cheese

When I saw this recipe, I knew I would love it. And I wasn't wrong. This is an amazing salad. I'm a recent convert to kale (SO late to this party!) and I have been roasting it a lot with other vegetables, but have wanted to try it in a salad as well. This was the perfect one to try.

Just look at all that goodness! Roasted squash, goat cheese, pepitas (pumpkin seeds!) and craisins. Practically everything is better with goat cheese on it, so there's that. But then squash roasted with all kinds of wonderful spices? And craisins?? (Craisins were not in the original recipe, but this salad seemed to be screaming out for them.) (Also, am I the only one who automatically types craisings - cause when do you NOT put a "g" after an "in"????)

These amazing ingredients are then topped with a really delicious apricot preserves-based dressing. And lucky for you, the dressing makes enough so that you can use it on other salads in the next few weeks. 

The great thing about kale is that it is a hearty green, so even if it's dressed, it can withhold a day or two in the fridge. The benefit for YOU is that IF you happen to have leftovers of this salad, they are equally good the next day - not a gooey, soggy mess like regular salads. 

So, please, make this. It is AMAZING and wonderful and delicious and beautiful. 

Roasted Butternut and Kale Salad with Goat Cheese

3 cups cubed butternut squash
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
8 oz. chopped kale leaves
2 tsp. olive oil
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (plain or honey)
1/4 cup roasted pepitas
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Apricot Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. apricot preserves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
pinch red pepper flakes, crushed

In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash with the olive oil until all the pieces are coated. Add in the salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and chili powder, and stir again until all the pieces are coated. Transfer to a greased or parchment paper lined sheet pan, and roast at 425 for 20-25 minutes until the pieces are slightly carmelized.

Meanwhile, place the kale in a large mixing bowl, and drizzle with the 2 tsp. olive oil. Massage the kale with your fingers for a few minutes. Let the kale rest at least 5 minutes.

Make the dressing by combining the vinegar, preserved, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in a bowl or jar. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. (You will likely have quite a bit of dressing left over; it keeps in the fridge beautifully for a couple of weeks and is great on other salads.) 

When squash is done, sprinkle kale with the salt and pepper, then add in the goat cheese, pepitas and craisins. Add in the squash, drizzle with the dressing, then toss and serve.

Recipe Source: Adapted from How Sweet Eats

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