I have a lot of squash on my counter. Well, had a lot of squash. I spent a large majority of Sunday cubing squash and sweet potato so nothing goes bad. My hand ached at the end from the rough slicing and dicing, but it felt like the right thing to do – to save fall’s bounty in order to enjoy it not only now, but in the midst of a snow-covered, bone-chilling winter.
I did get outside this weekend. Matt and I spent Saturday morning on a tiny boat, slowly working our way around a small lake, looking for fish. The day was gorgeous, with fall shining bright, and though I initially wore gloves and a blanket, they were soon cast aside in favor of the sun.
I read Bon Appetit (which, the more I’m able, seems like it’s meant to be read outside) and put my feet up while Matt cast his line.
It only made sense to come home and eat something green, something whole. It felt like we were doing something right by Mother Nature by coming home from a gorgeous fall day under a big blue sky and eating some of her greens and oranges.
This acorn squash and kale salad did the trick. Nothing truly fancy about this dish – just roasted squash and massaged kale salad, thrown together in a heap.
Acorn Squash and Kale Salad with Toasted Squash Seeds
Serving Size: 4
2 acorn squash, halved and seeded (seeds reserved)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 bunch curly kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Once acorn squashes are halved and seeded, with seeds reserved, ensure all gunk has been removed from squash and rub all sides with butter. Place on baking sheet (slice a thin layer off the bottom of each squash if they don't sit straight). Sprinkle each with brown sugar and sea salt. Bake until flesh is easily cut with a knife, about 45 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Rinse acorn squash seeds and dry with paper towel (some might stick - gently rub off with hands to remove). Spread seeds onto parchment lined baking sheets. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and generously add salt. Bake until toasted, about 10 minutes.
Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with the vinegar and maple syrup. Whisk until well combined. Add salt and pepper and massage dressing into kale by rubbing the leaves in your hands with the dressing for 2-3 minutes. Add squash seeds and toss.
Scoop kale salad until each acorn squash and serve warm.
Did you know that you can bake acorn squash seeds just the same as pumpkin seeds? They taste identical (as far as I can tell) and are a wonderful crunchy addition to an otherwise plain green salad. As in the photo below, just rinse the goop off and roast as you would pumpkin, with some sea salt and spices of choice.
One key to this recipe is to massage the kale. Just take the pieces into your hand for a couple of minutes, slowly rubbing the salad dressing into the leaves. They’ll wilt just a beat, enough to lose a bit of bitterness and toughness, so you won’t be chewing kale leaves the entire meal. A kale salad is a wonderful alternative to one with lettuce, but they do take some maintenance (and getting used to).
Again, a simple recipe, but one true to the whole foods of fall. Eat this for lunch when you have time to kill while baking the squash, and please don’t forget those seeds in your massaged kale salad!
P.S. You may have noticed the new recipe format – this is my first post using ZipList . You can easy save recipes using that big blue button up there, or hit print and get a wonderfully formatted version for basic printing. ZipList is a great way to organize recipes , and even has meal planning and grocery lists . I’ll also be reformatting my recipe index in the weeks to come, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, let me know what you think of ZipList. Do you use it? Find it helpful?