Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kale salad with roasted butternut squash and parmesan-foccacia croutons

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm on work training this week and haven't put together a holiday-themed post...but here's a yummy salad recipe to kick off your day!

Before the Christmas holidays, Costco was selling a great salad-to-go made with raw kale, sweet potato, dried cranberries and pine nuts. It was an instant hit in our household, but as so often happens at Costco, it's nowhere to be found these days. This week I decided to try my own version. We had the salad for dinner along with a two-squash soup (recipe coming soon). I saved time by using the roasted butternut squash and homemade croutons in both dishes. 

To make salad:

Cut the top off one bulb of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. Cut one butternut squash in half lengthwise. Remove peel and scrape seeds, then place squash cut-side down on a baking sheet along with the garlic and roast at 300F for 45-60 minutes (until fork-soft). Cut desired quantity of squash into 1" cubes for salad, and keep the rest for another use (I used 1/4 for the salad and 3/4 for the soup).  

To make croutons, dice one day-old loaf of potato-chive foccacia bread (I got mine at Loblaws) into 1" cubes. Toss bread cubes with 1T olive oil and 1/4 cup Parmesan. When squash is done baking, increase oven temperature to 415F. Spread the bread cubes into a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. The croutons should be lightly browned, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Thoroughly wash and dry one head of kale. Cut away ribs, then coarsely chop. Place kale, squash and croutons in a salad bowl along with a handful of raisins and pecans.

To make dressing:

In a small bowl, mash half of the cloves from the roasted garlic bulb. Whisk in 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup maple syrup and 2T cider vinegar. Pour desired quantity of dressing over salad. Ideally, let the salad - minus the croutons - sit for 10-15 minutes before serving, to allow the kale to absorb the dressing.

Option: Dry roast the butternut squash seeds and add to salad.


  1. Oh my gosh, you always fix up the best recipes! Happy Valentine's Day to you :)

  2. I always love the recipes you share, Kat! I'm filing this one away for when we have an oven again - and live somewhere where we can buy kale. Would you believe it's almost unheard of in France?

  3. my guy would eat this up. ok inhale it. ;)


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