Kale & Roasted Squash Fall Salad

Hi it’s Jo-Anna from A Pretty Life back again to share another delicious recipe with you! This time I’m embracing my favourite and most beautiful of all seasons … fall. Fall has the best recipes don’t you think?  It’s that time of year when summer has made it’s big harvest pay out, and this means we can load up on fresh produce at the market.  I love it all … the apples, pears, squash, pumpkins … endless goodies.

And what I love most about bringing home bags of fresh produce, are all the dinner options.  Fresh vegetables, roasted vegetables, stir fries, stews and big hearty salads.

Kale is a great salad base. Not only is it healthy but it lasts forever in a salad because it doesn’t tend to get soggy.  This is great for holiday dinner planning because you can make the bulk of this salad the day before you want to serve it, without having the kale wilt.  In fact once the kale is tossed in the dressing it just tastes better.  When you're ready to serve the salad, just toss in all the toppings and you're done!

For Thanksgiving this year I want to serve up a healthy and hearty salad with as many fresh fruits and vegetables as I can possibly fit into it, and I wanted the base to be kale. Kale is a great salad base. Not only is it healthy but it lasts forever in a salad because it doesn’t tend to get soggy.  This is great for holiday dinner planning because you can make the bulk of this salad the day before you want to serve it, without having the kale wilt.  In fact once the kale is tossed in the dressing it just tastes better.  When you’re ready to serve the salad, just toss in all the toppings and you’re done!

Kale is a great salad base. Not only is it healthy but it lasts forever in a salad because it doesn’t tend to get soggy.  This is great for holiday dinner planning because you can make the bulk of this salad the day before you want to serve it, without having the kale wilt.  In fact once the kale is tossed in the dressing it just tastes better.  When you're ready to serve the salad, just toss in all the toppings and you're done!

I wanted to really take this kale salad to the next level and serve it with roasted squash.  There is so much squash available to us in the fall, so it’s nice to have different ways to serve it.  For this recipe, I tossed slices of squash in some Kendall-Jackson Olive Oil, then seasoned it with salt and pepper, roasted it, then I tossed it into the salad!  The squash takes on the flavour of the dressing so nicely, and pairs with all the delicious topping so well!  Yum.

Kale & Roasted Squash Fall Salad
 
 
 
 
Serves: 6 - 8
 
Ingredients
Roasted Squash:
  • 1 acorn squash, seeds removed and cut into ½ inch crescent slices (see picture) (refer to notes)
  • olive oil
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (I used the Kendall-Jackson olive oil)
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch of fresh kale
  • ½ radicchio, sliced thin
  • 1 small carrot, chopped (I used a spiralizer for this salad)
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • ½ small red onion, chopped
  • seeds from ½ pomegranate
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ cup cooked & crumbled pancetta
 
Instructions
First roast the squash.
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the cut pieces of squash in about 1 tbsp of olive oil, and season with salt & fresh ground pepper.
  3. Then line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, and place the squash onto the pan (see picture).
  4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the squash is roasted to your liking.
  5. Once the squash is done roasting, remove it from the oven and let cool.
Making the Dressing:
  1. While the squash is roasting, mix together all of the ingredients for the salad dressing. Set aside.
Preparing the Salad:
  1. Remove and discard the hard rib from the kale. Then cut the kale leaves into small pieces (smaller than you would a regular salad).
  2. Toss the chopped kale with the salad dressing and let sit for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. While the kale is resting with the dressing, prepare the remaining salad ingredients: chop the vegetables and cook the pancetta.
  4. Once the kale has rested, add the radicchio, carrot, pear and red onion. Toss.
  5. Then sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds, crumbled goat cheese, and crumbled pancetta.
 
Notes
For the roasted squash I decided to leave the skins on because they look so nice, and we don't mind eating them. But if you aren't a fan of the skins, feel free to remove them before roasting the squash.
 
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Make ahead tips:

  • Make the dressing and toss it with the kale the day before you want to serve it.
  • Roast the squash ahead of time too.  Once it’s roasted just store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve the salad.
  • Do the same with the pancetta – cook and crumble it then store it in the fridge until you are ready.
  • Have your carrots and onions prepped and ready to go, so on the day you want to serve this kale salad all you have to do is toss them in.

Kale is a great salad base. Not only is it healthy but it lasts forever in a salad because it doesn’t tend to get soggy.  This is great for holiday dinner planning because you can make the bulk of this salad the day before you want to serve it, without having the kale wilt.  In fact once the kale is tossed in the dressing it just tastes better.  When you're ready to serve the salad, just toss in all the toppings and you're done!

This salad pairs beautifully with any variety of wine, but we thought it was perfect served with the Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  The heartiness of the salad, with the crumbled goat cheese just paired beautifully with the red wine.  So good.  And don’t think this salad is just for holidays!  It’s a great treat any time…this salad is perfect served with my one-pot chicken dinner.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do!

Have a delicious day!
Jo-Anna

Credits:  Recipe & Photography: Jo-Anna Rooney of A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

 

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