How about this kale butternut squash salad to step into the new year right ?! Happy New Year To The World ! Can you believe it’s 2015 ?! Where do the days of our lives go anyway ..
I started this brand new year with a nice walk with the Batman and the kids, loves of my life and daily Sunshines. They make life worthwhile. I was hoping to find a few moments of stillness to just breathe, not making any resolutions or plans, simply to capture the present moment with all my senses. Quieting the mind seems to be tough business most of the times, unless i’m cooking something up in the kitchen. So that’s where I went to whip up this kale butternut squash winter salad, for both great health and good luck.
Caramelized butternut squash and citrusy kale come together really nice with a kiss of dry cranberries and flakes of coarse sea salt. It is a super easy salad and one you will feel good about eating every day. The kale butternut squash flavors have some magic going on for sure. I used a tart orange from our tree to saute the dark green kale. However you can use grapefruit, tangerine or blood oranges instead.
If using an extra sweet orange I suggest balancing it out with a squeeze of lemon juice. You will probably want to do that anyway considering the sweetness from the butternut squash as well. The dry cranberries add a nice chewy texture and a little tartness to this otherwise sweet kale butternut squash dish. I suspect you might still want to balance the whole dish with some lemon juice tough. So taste as you go and make it your own. Serve it next to roasted chicken or as a vegetarian meal on its own. I was going to sprinkle the whole thing with a handful of toasted pine nuts but my pantry got jacked again, so here I am about to install a pine nut cam in the pantry. Right after I chow down on this wintry kale butternut squash salad.
If kale is not really your thing, I bet you would love this creamy roasted butternut squash risotto. So let’s go make something !
- 2 lb butternut squash cubed
- 1 bunch kale organic
- 1/2 c dry cranberries
- juice from 1 orange organic, your favorite kind
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- pinch of sea salt to taste
- a few flakes of coarse sea salt to taste
- pinch of sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- a squeeze of lemon juice optional
- 1/4 c pine nuts toasted
Preheat your oven to 500’F. In a large bowl toss together the cubed butternut squash with a lug of olive oil until coated all over. Season with the red pepper flakes, paprika and a good pinch of sea salt.
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the butternut squash on it in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through in the preheated oven, turning the squash with a spatula half way.
Remove squash from the oven and drizzle with the maple syrup. Turn on the broiler and throw the squash under the flames for a few minutes until the maple syrup caramelizes around the edges.
Meanwhile wash the kale and discard the tougher part of the stems. Slice the kale into small pieces and set aside. Add a good lug of olive oil to a large skillet on medium flame and saute the kale with a pinch of sea salt for a couple of minutes. Squeeze in the orange juice and toss to coat. Saute until the kale has wilted to your liking and adjust seasoning with the sea salt and some lemon juice for balance, depending on how sweet your orange is.
Arrange the kale on a serving platter and top with the roasted butternut squash. Gently toss to combine and sprinkle with the cranberries. Serve warm with a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top, toasted pine nuts and a few flakes of coarse sea salt.