Roasted Kabocha and kale salad

This salad is like fall in a plate. Hearty roasted Kabocha, sweet pomegranate seeds, and slightly wilted kale all combine for a filling salad.

But before we dive into this fall recipe, meet my favorite winter squash: The Kabocha. This super versatile squash is perfect for roasting, stuffing, and souping (not sure that’s a real verb.) It looks like pumpkin’s green stocky cousin but it doesn’t taste like pumpkin at all. It has an unique flavor and more of a sweet potato texture. If you haven’t taste it yet, give it a try!  You most likely to find it at Asian markets and it’ll be cheap–especially during fall and winter. Definitely ‘dealicious’! 

Oh, can we briefly discuss this sweet+tangy+warm dressing?!! So simple and so good. And you want it warm because it helps make the kale slightly softer, giving it the right texture for those of us turned off by the coarse greens. Top it all with some fresh-grated Pecorino to add a creamy spin to the salad and there you have it. Fall perfection!

Roasted Kabocha and Kale Salad

  • Serves: 4
  • Category:

Ingredients

  • 1 medium unpeeled kabocha squash (about 3-4 lb.), cut into 1/2-in.-thick wedges
  • 4 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch green curly kale
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut Kabocha in half. Remove seeds. Cut into 1-inch vertical slices. See pic for reference.
  2. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on a baking sheet. Place Kabocha slices, drizzle 2 tablespoon olive oil over it, sprinkle salt and pepper (aprox. 1/4 teaspoon of each). Toss it gently with hands to coat. Cover with foil. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Remove foil; bake 15 more minutes or until pumpkin is tender and browned, turning once.
  3. While the Kabocha roasts, thoroughly rinse the kale in cold water, soaking if necessary to remove grit. Tear the kale into chunks. Give it a good spin or shake to remove excess water and place it in a large salad bowl. Reserve.
  4. Remove Kabocha from the oven. Let it cool off slightly. Peel the skin and cut into small cubes. Reserve.
  5. Heat the remaining olive oil (2 tbsp) in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Season with some salt (1/2 tsp) and pepper. Remove from heat, add the balsamic vinegar, and poor over the kale in the salad bowl. Toss, and toss, and toss some more until kale is a fully coated and a bit wilted. Add the Kabocha cubes and pomegranate tossing it slightly.
  6. Finish by topping it with the Pecorino or Parmesan cheese. Serve it warm.