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Butternut squash, kale and fennel salad with orange vinaigrette

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

This kale and butternut squash salad with orange vinaigrette is a perfect festive side dish for the holiday season. It features fresh winter produce and pairs well with nearly any protein.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free
Keyword holiday side dish, vegetable side dish, winter salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 bunch curly kale, removed from stems and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste for roasting squash
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced by hand or with a mandoline
  • 1/2 cup raw or dry toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Orange vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp fresh-grated orange zest
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

For the salad:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To the pan, add butternut squash cubes, avocado oil, and sea salt and black pepper to taste. Roast in oven for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once done, set aside to cool.

  2. Add chopped kale to a large bowl. Sprinkle on the 1/4 tsp sea salt and add a drizzle of olive oil. Then, massage with hands for 2-3 minutes to soften and flavor the kale.

  3. Next, add the thinly sliced fennel, parsley, roasted butternut squash and pecans. Pour the dressing on top (instructions below) and toss to coat. Then gently mix in the pomegranate seeds.

For the orange vinaigrette:

  1. Add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar and shake vigorously. Alternatively, you can whisk all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Taste and adjust flavor as desired.

Recipe Notes

This is the easiest way I've found to seed a pomegranate with one catch -- I break the pomegranate into quarters in the water bowl after I pry it open with my hands. It makes the seeds come out even easier when you thwack it with a spoon!