This is truly the BEST winter salad. It is healthy and hearty! I know we all feel like we need comfort food and to put on our winter warmth layer but having a break from rich & heavy foods is a nice break.
You will need:
kale 2 bunches
winter squash 3 cups minimum( butternut, kombucha, acorn, etc)
Mexican crumbly (not aged) cheese 1 cup or more
pecans or pumpkin seeds ( raw and shelled) 1 cup
cumin 1 tablespoon
chili pepper 1 tablespoon
apple cider vinegar1/4 cup
olive oil 1/2 cup
salt & pepper
First, I peel and cube squash. I put it into a bowl with oil ( I used bacon fat) and coated the squash. Then sprinkle salt, pepper, cumin, and chili pepper all over. Over spice the squash because it will add lovely flavor to the salad. Place on a cookie sheet and into a 350 degree oven. Roast until golden, I like mine crispy not just soft so usually it takes about 45 minutes.
In a dry pan I turn the heat on high and toast the pecans or pumpkin seeds. It happens quick so NO leaving the pan and constantly be turning the seeds. Remove from the pan when you feel they are done otherwise they will continue to cook.
Kale, remove the stem and tough veins of the kale and put into cold water to clean. I use my salad spinner to get all the water off that I can. Chop the kale into bite size pieces. In a very large serving dish put the dry kale in and pour dressing all over ( simple olive oil and apple cider vinegar) kale and massage into the leaves. I suggest doing this 20 minutes before but you can leave longer if you want.
When the squash is done put the squash on top of the dressed kale while hot! It helps to soften the kale a bit. I then add the cheese and pumpkin seeds. No need to mix. It makes a beautiful presentation.
I served this as our main dish with a steaming cup of broth. It could also be a beautiful side dish as well.