November 8, 2013

kale salad with butternut squash and almonds

kale salad with butternut squash and almonds | TWELFTH AVENUE

Not to be a scrooge or anything, but I hate almost all traditional Thanksgiving food. I don’t eat poultry, stuffing makes me gag, and don’t even get me started on gravy. (Creamy meat juice? Thanks, but no thanks.) Just load my plate up with mashed potatoes, pour me a tall glass of red, and let me know when it’s time for pie.

This year, we’re hosting our very first Friendsgiving, which is the perfect opportunity to experiment with less traditional side dishes in classic fall flavors. A quick search of revealed this stunner of an autumn salad, chock full of nutritious superfoods. I made it for lunch last weekend and it was a hit (my husband has already asked that I make it again…twice). I omitted the cheese and played with the ratios a bit to cut down on fat and play up the flavor of the vegetables.

Tell me, are there any non-traditional side dishes that you serve at Thanksgiving? Or are you more of a traditionalist?

kale salad with butternut squash and almonds

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
serves 2 for lunch, 4 as a side


5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 medium shallot, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups 1/2 inch-cubed butternut squash
1 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into ribbons (about 5 cups)
1/3 cup whole, roasted almonds, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Whisk 3 Tablespoons oil, balsamic vinegar, shallot, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Combine squash and 1 Tablespoon oil in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer squash to prepared baking sheet and roast, turning occasionally, until squash is tender and lightly golden, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add kale and cook, tossing frequently, until bright green and slightly wilted, 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 2 big spoonfuls of dressing and toss to coat. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add reserved squash and chopped almonds to kale. Toss well and season with pepper. Divide among plates and drizzle with more dressing, if desired.