Salad is always an essential staple for me at most meals and, on Thanksgiving, that mentality does not change. Instead of your typical run-of-the-mill greens, consider taking it up a notch with massaged kale, roasted squash, apples, and pepitas!
This salad is hearty and warming, and all of the elements can be prepped in advance and assembled when ready to serve. Feel free to massage the kale in the morning for a softer leaf as well as whisking your dressing and roasting the squash ahead of time to make your meal set-up that much smoother.
Roasted butternut squash + kale + apple salad
- 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled if you like, seeds removed, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 5 tbsps olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 medium sized apples, cored, sliced into 1/2 slices, or diced, I used Sun Crisp
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1 lb lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together 2 tbsps olive oil, cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp maple syrup, a pinch of salt, and a good grinding of pepper. Add squash, toss well, and spread out on a sheet tray. Roast for 30-40 minutes until caramelized and tender, stirring half way though cooking.
- While the squash roasts, heat a pan over medium heat and gently toast the peptias for 3-4 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside.
- Whisk together Dijon, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, 3 tbsps olive oil, 1 tsp maple syrup, and a pinch of salt, and a grinding of black pepper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the kale and pour in 3/4 of the salad dressing. Massage the dressing into the greens for at least 2 minutes or until the leaves are soften and tender. Mix in squash and apples, top with pepitas and parm, and serve with additional dressing if desired.