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Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 4 (main) or 8 (side)
Calories: 578kcal
Author: Nisha Vora

Ingredients

  • 1 small green cabbage or ½ of a large cabbage
  • 1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salad Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 cups (50-65g) Simply Nature Organic Chopped Kale
  • 2 to 3 large carrots, peeled and ribboned with a Y-shaped/wide vegetable peeler*
  • 1 (15-ounce/425g ) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed with a press or finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sweet-and-Spicy Almond Crunch

  • ½ cup (70g) whole almonds, unsalted**
  • 2 tablespoons (42g) Simply Nature Organic Light Agave Nectar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt or sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF/232ºC.
  • Prep the cabbage: Trim the bottom stem from the cabbage, but leave the core otherwise intact to hold the leaves together. Slice the cabbage in half. Cut into 1-inch thick wedges.
    Spread the cabbage out on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper to taste. Rub cabbage with your hands, getting the oil and seasonings into the crevices.
  • Prep the squash: Peel the butternut squash***. Cut in half vertically and scoop out the seeds. Using a mandoline (preferred method) or a sharp chef’s knife, thinly slice the squash, crosswise, into ¼-inch thick half-moon slices (see photos in blog post for reference).
    Transfer squash slices to a bowl, and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup, cumin, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet with as little overlap as possible (you might need to add a few pieces to the pan with the cabbage).
  • Roast the cabbage and squash for 15 minutes. Flip each cabbage piece using a spatula and toss the squash around. Continue roasting for 10 to 13 minutes, or until the cabbage edges are browned and the squash is nicely browned and tender.
  • Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Add garlic, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, red pepper flakes, and oregano to a bowl. Whisk to combine, then stream in the olive oil, whisking as you go. Season with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper to taste. Or, add all of the ingredients to a jar, close the lid, and shake up the jar until the dressing is emulsified.
  • Make the almond crunch: Line a large plate with parchment paper. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. After a few minutes, add the almonds, agave nectar, and cayenne. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper. Stir the mixture constantly, until the nuts are browned and the sugar has caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Quickly transfer the mixture to the lined surface and use a spatula to squish the almonds together in a pile. Allow to rest for a few minutes, then use your hands to break them into clumps.
  • Assemble the salad: Add the kale, carrot ribbons, and chickpeas to a large bowl. Pour some of the vinaigrette on top and toss with tongs or forks. Add the roasted squash and cabbage, add a bit more vinaigrette, and gently toss. Sprinkle the almond crunch on top.****
    Best served at room temperature or warm.

Notes

* When you get to the point where you can no longer shave long peels, just slice the remaining carrots thinly - it adds a nice crunchy texture. 
** If your nuts are salted, skip the salt or go really light on it.
**** Squash too tough to cut in half? Microwave it for 2 minutes. This softens it, making it much easier to slice through.  
**** If you plan to keep leftovers, the salad is still good 2-3 days later, but the texture will be best if you dress only the amount of salad you plan to eat that day.